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Mars Society Bulletin - 18 Oct 05
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Griffin Seeks to Break Shuttle Blockade of Moon-Mars Exploration

October 18, 2005
For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at

Reports from Washington indicate that NASA Administrator Dr. Mike
Griffin has been holding discussions with the White House to seek
approval for a policy that would truncate the Shuttle program and
rapidly shift its funds towards implementation of human Moon-Mars

This is exactly the right policy. The Mars Society supports such a
shift 100 percent.

The only Shuttle mission worth flying is Hubble repair, a mission of
extraordinary importance for which the Shuttle has been specifically
designed and for which it is uniquely capable. In contrast, using the
Shuttle to engage in Space Station construction while a Moon-Mars
heavy lift vehicle (HLV) is in the offing is a grotesque waste of the
taxpayers' money. Once we have an HLV, we will be able to launch in a
day what the Shuttle can launch in a year - in its best years; three
years at currently projected launch rates; or eighteen years at
current actual launch rates. Furthermore, by delaying heavy lift
development to engage in pointless Shuttle missions, NASA would place
the entire Moon-Mars initiative at risk, both because after Katrina
there may not be enough money to sustain both Shuttle and Moon-Mars,
and in any case, administrations will change in 2009. Unless the
authors of the new space Vision show enough faith in it to get it
going in earnest while they are in office, it will almost certainly
be thrown by the boards by the next administration.

The right policy is this;
1.      No more Shuttle missions except Hubble repair.
2.      Shift Shuttle funds immediately to accelerate development of
HLV, CEV, and Moon-Mars technology.
3.      Set the goal, and go for it: Moon by 2012, Mars by 2016.

For seeking to open the Shuttle blockade, Griffin has come under
attack by advocates of waste and stagnation. But the choice before
NASA is clear: Either we seize the day to break out into the solar
system, or we consign ourselves to another generation stuck in low
Earth orbit.

Mike Griffin has made his choice. Now it is up to you to make yours.

Thirty years of stagnation in space is enough.

Call or write your senators, congressmen, and the President today.
Tell them you support all efforts to shift from the Shuttle program
to human Moon-Mars exploration as quickly as possible. All
congressmen and Senators can be reached through the Capitol
switchboard at 202-224-3121.

If you want to see a human future in space, it is time to speak up.
Call today.

For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website at

The Updated Past, Present and Possible Futures of Space Activity