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Report: new space vision to offer little change
Posted: Sun, Nov 30, 2003, 12:38 PM ET (1738 GMT)
NASA A proposed new "vision" for the US space program current being developed by the Bush administration will offer little change from current policy, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday. That report based its conclusion on analysis of internal NASA documents the newspaper obtained as well as interviews with people familiar with the administration's ongoing space policy review. The report said there are no plans for a bold new initiative, such as human missions to the Moon or Mars. Instead, the focus is on existing programs, including return the shuttle to flight, completing the International Space Station, and developing the Orbital Space Plane. The proposed new space policy would also offer no significant increase in NASA's $15-billion budget; existing programs could experience near-term cuts to pay for the costs of the shuttle return to flight program. The current interagency space policy review, cochaired by White House domestic and national security policy officials, has been cloaked in secrecy. Despite earlier reports that stated that a presidential statement on the new space policy could come on December 17, during Wright Brothers centennial celebrations at Kitty Hawk, the Sentinel article concluded that this particular pronouncement was unlikely.
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