February 1st, 2010
01:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama budget would cut moon exploration program


President Obama's proposed budget cuts funding for a planned moon mission. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

(CNN) - American astronauts will not return to the moon as planned if Congress passes President Obama's proposed budget.

Obama's budget - which aims to tighten the nation's purse strings in certain areas while increasing money used to create jobs - would cancel NASA's Constellation Program, which had sought to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020.

Constellation also intended to study the idea of establishing a moon colony. The program was set to follow the U.S. space agency's shuttle missions, which are due to end in September.

On its Web site, the White House Budget Office says the program to send astronauts to the moon is behind schedule, over budget and overall less important than other space investments.

"Using a broad range of criteria, an independent review panel determined that even if fully funded, NASA's program to repeat many of the achievements of the Apollo era, 50 years later, was the least attractive approach to space exploration as compared to potential alternatives," the site says.

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Filed under: Budget
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Unfortunate but necessary. Now let's hope he begins a reduction in military spending as well... That is what will bring the deficits down.

    February 1, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  2. Kim Nugent

    I say shoot the POtUS to the moon. His head is already in the clouds.

    February 1, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Elmer

    This should yield some savings. Of course this is not the brand of pork that should be slashed first and deepest! I am certain the budget contains lots of the Congressional pork cuts the President promised us in mid-2008 as well. Please report on those as soon as they surface from a detailed reading of the budget.. Thanks.

    February 1, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Jayden,FL

    This is really stupid! This is just giving China and India and the rest of the countries a upper hand!!

    February 1, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Trimit

    we need to tighten up on the waste here on earth, cut some of the fraud and waste in the welfare programs, ssi and other give away programs.The deficit would probably clear itself quickly after that is done

    February 1, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  6. Orange Curtain, CA

    Disappointing but $ will be better spent on something more challenging like a manned mission to Mars instead.

    February 1, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. dg

    obama said he would cut unemployment, how is this going to happen by jobs lost at nasa, he said he would cut spending, now he has the biggest deficit proposed, he said 95 percent of us would not pay taxes, i guess that makes us the 5 percent. more jobs lost more spending, where are the real leaders of this country. i cant wait till november

    February 1, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Good. While sending warm bodies into cold space may be glamorous, it's really a collossal waste of money. There are cheaper ways to explore space. Have a nice day!

    February 1, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Wanda in Montana

    Can't we cut the the "faith based" crap that we fund instead? Oh, I know, let's pull out of the middle east - that would save enough to maintain space exploration! I know the space program is expensive, but at least it doesn't foment ignorance and it contributes knowledge, advances civilized achievement, and proves there are no god(s) lurking above us.

    February 1, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. felicia

    I agree we need more domestic agendas to save the economy.

    February 1, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Darn – I was hoping the religious right wingnuts would be the first to volunteer to go one way to the moon to be closer to their maker.

    February 1, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Defender of the United States Constitution

    The infrastructure in the USA needs major upgrading and Bush-43 wanted to go to the moon. I am so glad we have a President who has common sense. Thank you President Obama for not sending the American's tax dollars to the moon.

    February 1, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yes I'd agree with that. There are plenty of places and subjects that we have to explore right here on Earth. At a time when our educational system is woefully inept and behind the industrialized nations of the world, MOON EXPLORATION can take a back seat if it means more funding will be allocated to more immediate uses like education and employment.

    I'm all for exploration and other frontiers, but let's cross the ones that challenge us right here on Earth first.

    February 1, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Theorigionalkarma

    Right, cut the one program that has kept us ahead of the technology curve. Brilliant, then we can fall behind other nations, that’s EXACTLY what I want. Obama sure is an idiot. He isn't fixing anything and any time he DOES make a decision he only makes matters worse. I can't wait until he is gone.

    February 1, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    BIG mistake, Obama. VERY shortsighted.

    It was the Apollo project that brought us things like the personal computer... GPS... velcro... just a few of potentially hundreds of things we take for granted today.

    Who knows what the next manned space exploration project would bring?

    February 1, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Unnecessary spending. It's not like anyone is going to be living on the moon in the next 50 years.

    February 1, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Steve in North Carolina

    Say what? He wants private industry to participate in this venture? He ought to apply the same philosophy to every other initiative he has come up with and start shrinking the federal government and the deficit along with it!

    I noticed that he is increasing their budget overall. This story is just window dressing to make it appear that he is cutting costs when he really isn't.

    February 1, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. RichieC

    It's about time somebody cut this program. total waste of money. Who cares if there is water on the moon. We ought to be worrying about the water on earth, which has become a big US problem. Take the billions spent by NASA and work that issue with it. Let China go find more water on the moon. With the interest we are paying them on their loans to us they can afford it . The US cannot. We cannot afford these national hobbies anymore

    February 1, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    During these financially strapped times, this is a good decision.

    Continued funding of basic scientific research is wise, as is funding education and rebuilding infrastructure.

    Once the economy bounces back, then we can revisit the idea of exploring the possibility of colonizing the moon.

    February 1, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. phil

    It's about time this waste of money was terminated and spent elsewhere. How can we go to the moon when there are 2000 children in the US dying every day from poverty related causes.

    February 1, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. RichieC

    And as far people at NASA losing there jobs, I am sure Richard Branson will be looking for good people that can help him with his new company that will be sending people into space within the next 10 years. Looks like he will have a large talent pool to choose from.

    February 1, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |