November 13, 2012
CIS-Lunar NASA's Manned Space Goal
By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor
With the 2012 elections over, NASA should soon announce its next goal for manned space exploration. The destination would be L2, a balanced gravitational point on the far side of the moon. A manned outpost there would enable NASA to gain experience in deep space operations toward a 2025 asteroid visit.
Putting a manned station at L2 should be an affordable goal in NASA's tight budget, and provides an initial set of missions for the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion space capsule, designed for Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO) operations. The outpost could use a combination of new build hardware and scavenged parts from the International Space Station (ISS), depending on how long ISS continues to operate.
Current funding by NASA and its international partners support ISS operations through 2020, but there are already discussions to extend ISS' lifetime... Read More