Sunday, December 20, 2009

NASA remembers storied past, but looks to uncertain future


Cape Canaveral, Florida - As the world marked the 40th anniversary of the first human on the moon this year, the future of the space programme that pioneering astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins helped found looks more uncertain than ever. The Apollo astronauts are old men now. In July, it seemed like they recreated that golden age of space flight when they shook hands with US President Barack Obama, who praised them for their contributions.

But even as NASA announced unprecedented findings from scientific missions to the moon and Mars, the Obama administration conducted a review of its activities that could alter or scrub the space agency's future plans.

NASA is winding down its nearly three-decade-old space shuttle programme and is set to retire the ageing space "trucks" in late 2010. Just five more flights remain, aimed at preparing the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) for life without the shuttle, the only craft large enough to transport major parts to the station More Details..


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