Fly Me to the Moon, Just Why Does it Cost So Much…

A few updates on human space exploration from India, the United States, and Europe…

INDIA

Gov’t actively considering sending man into space: Chavan
The Hindu
“India is gearing up for the launch of its maiden moon mission Chandrayaan-I later this year and government is actively considering sending a man into space, Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chavan said.”

UNITED STATES

NASA: Budget’s tight, but the moon, Mars beckon
Miami Herald
NASA’s Shana Dale discusses the agency’s future plans for sending humans beyond LEO.

Constellation Challenges – test and flight schedules under pressure
NASASpaceFlight.com
Those trips may take longer than they think. “The latest internal workings are currently being implemented into the Initial Operational Capacity (IOC) schedule, which shows the threat of delays range through the entire schedule – from the Ares I-X test flight, all the way through to NASA’s return to the moon.”

Local astronaut says next stop is Mars
Muskegon Chronicle
West Michigan native David Leestma tells a group at the Grand Rapids Public Museum there’s nothing to stop us from heading to Mars.

Mars mission might be shelved because of cancer risks
The Mirror (UK)
Not so fast, says a recent Georgetown University Medical Center study that links prolonged space travel to premature aging and an increased risk of cancer. The National Research Council also recently released a report calling on NASA to do more research into radiation dangers before sending astronauts to the moon and Mars.

EUROPE

British astronauts may hit cash barrier in EU space programme
The Guardian
Although ESA has put out a call for more astronauts, British citizens’ best bet might be to pay to pay Richard Branson $200,000 for a flight aboard SpaceShipTwo. They’re not eligible because their government doesn’t contribute to ESA’s human spaceflight budget.

Demand for Europe space rethink
BBC News
It’s just as well, says Royal Society President Martin Reese. Europe shouldn’t be funding human spaceflight. The future lies with robots.

Royal Society president’s anti-astronaut comments sparks UK backlash
FlightGlobal.com
Lord Reese’s comments haven’t gone over well with everyone.