Lawmakers and former astronauts have lambasted President Obama for scrapping a moon mission. Thursday, Obama will defend his vision for NASA space exploration through human spaceflight.
Upset over Obama's plans for NASA, two US lawmakers from Florida plan to introduce a bill that would keep the space shuttle launching through 2011 and throw a lifeline to the endangered moon exploration program Constellation.
Under Obama's 2011 budget, NASA would cancel plans to put astronauts back on the moon by 2020 and hand off space-taxi services to private companies.
As exploring the heavens becomes more expensive, many experts think it is time for nations to band together to push humanity to the next threshold of space exploration.
If NASA's Constellation program is going to take astronauts to the moon or Mars, Obama will have to increase its budget, the Augustine report says.
The Constellation program is gearing up as the shuttle winds down. But other shuttle replacements have been scuttled before.