In a speech at NASA headquarters on Wednesday, President Bush outlined his new space plan, which includes a proposal to return to the moon by 2020 and establish a base there for trips to Mars and beyond. Included in the blueprint are plans to return the space shuttle to orbit as soon as possible before retiring it completely around 2010, the same year Bush hopes to complete the International Space Station. New manned exploration vehicles will be developed and the first mission should occur by 2014, according to the President. To pay for the new initiative, Bush said he plans to ask Congress to increase NASA¿s budget (currently $86 billion over five years) by $1 billion and to reallocate $11 billion from projects that have already been funded. Those funds represent a beginning, according to the President, with future funding decisions relying on whether the ambitious goals are met. Some of Scientific American's past stories about space exploration--including returning to the moon, some of the hurdles NASA faces and the logistics of a manned trip to Mars--are compiled below. -- The Editors
The Cold Odds against Columbia
China's Great Leap Upward
The Way to Go in Space
Exploring the Moon
Back to the Moon?
The Not So Icy Stares
The New Moon
Lost in Space
NASA's Not Shining Moments
Why Go to Mars?
The following are available for purchase from Scientific American Digital:
"Bringing Life to Mars" (Scientific American Presents: The Future of Space Exploration, Spring 1999)
"North to Mars!" by Robert Zubrin (Scientific American, June 2001)
"Staying Sane in Space," by Sarah Simpson (Scientific American, March 2000)
Scientific American Presents: The Future of Space Exploration (Spring 1999 )