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President sets asteroid, Mars goals for NASA human spaceflight
Posted: Fri, Apr 16, 2010, 10:24 AM ET (1424 GMT)
President Obama at KSC (NASA) President Barack Obama directed NASA on Thursday to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 as a precursor to Mars missions a decade later. Obama, speaking at the Kennedy Space Center, said his revised space exploration plan would put humans in orbit around Mars by the mid-2030s with human landings shortly thereafter. He responded to criticism about his exploration plan, first announced two and a half months ago in the fiscal year 2011 budget proposal, saying that he was "100 percent committed" to the agency and that the new plan would permit human space exploration faster and cheaper than the previous effort. Obama also confirmed statements earlier this week plans to continue work on the Orion spacecraft as a crew return vehicle for the International Space Station as well as selecting a design for a new heavy-lift launch vehicle by 2015.
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