At MSNBC (August 14, 2011), we are told, “NASA opens new office for deep space missions: In post-shuttle era, agency looks at trips to the moon, asteroids and Mars”:
To embark on its next chapter in human space exploration, NASA has created a new department to oversee manned spaceflight in the post-space-shuttle era.
The department is called the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and combines two previous organizations, the Space Operations Directorate and the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.
You know they’re not actually going anywhere when the big news is “office,” “department,” and “directorate.”
When NASA was going somewhere, it was A-OK! and reading Genesis, floating in space.
Rob Sheldon comments,
If you recall, George HW Bush wanted to put a man on Mars back when he became president in 1988. In 1971 Werner von Braun called all the NASA Marshall employees to a all-hands meeting in to announce we would be on Mars in 1981. So this is nothing new for NASA, but Obama has to look like he has a plan after he cancelled the Moon mission, which would have put a base on the Moon in 2020. So after abolishing George W Bush’s program that was 10 years in the making, he is merely saying we’ll do “something” by 2030. And along the way, he is “combining” (read reducing) various offices at NASA. So it looks like a cost-cutting reorg with some splashy PR about a mission, but pushed so far into the future it won’t affect his reelection or his budget.
Why should NASA bother? In the newly popular multiverse isn’t everything true anyway?
Real world moonwalk: