American astronauts will return to the moon early in the next decade in preparation for sending crews to explore Mars and nearby asteroids, President Bush is expected to propose next week as part of a sweeping reform of the U.S. space program.
To begin the initiative, the president will ask Congress for a down payment of $800 million for fiscal year 2005, most of which will go to develop new robotic space vehicles and begin work on advanced human exploration systems. Bush also plans to ask Congress to boost NASA's budget by 5 percent annually over at least the next five years, with all of the increase supporting space exploration. With the exception of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, no other agency is expected to receive a budget increase above inflation in FY 2005.
Also, I didn't realize it until now, but the UPI story was co-authored by Keith Cowing, host of Nasawatch.
I write to you in a very distressed state of mind and that may burst my emotions and passions because of the weighty calamity that struck me and my husband after losing our oldest son who was at the tender age of nineteen years. He was looking forward with eyes full of hope and optimism to a bright and eventful future...
UPDATE: Tons of discussion on the veracity of the incident over at Instapundit, and Zeyad at Healing Iraq adds more details in response to voluminous comments on his site. (If the story turns out false, then is this the Iraqi blogworld's Kaycee Nicole.)
"Why is everybody making such a big deal about rocks and sand?" asked 77-year-old Norma Lint. "The rocky edge of Coyote Dry Lake looks exactly the same as those images from Mars."