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NASA budget proposal would cancel Constellation
Posted: Mon, Feb 1, 2010, 6:27 PM ET (2327 GMT)
NASA The White House released its proposed fiscal year 2011 budget Monday that included a radical new proposal to end NASA's Constellation program. The $19-billion NASA budget would cancel all aspects of Constellation, including the Ares launch vehicles and Orion capsule. NASA would begin the development of commercial vehicles to carry astronauts to low Earth orbit, while funding technology demonstration programs to enable the development of heavy-lift launch vehicles and other systems needed for future human exploration. The budget would eliminate NASA's current goal of returning to the Moon by 2020, citing that the agency was not able to achieve it anyway because of existing cost and schedule problems with Constellation. No firm destinations nor timelines have been set by NASA for future human exploration, although agency officials said they were confident that the new plan would enable human missions to destinations beyond LEO faster that the existing plan. Some members of Congress have sharply objected to the budget, seeking to preserve the Constellation program, suggesting that NASA will have a difficult battle in the months ahead to secure approval of the budget proposal.
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