Lawmakers and former astronauts have lambasted President Obama for scrapping a moon mission. Thursday, Obama will defend his vision for NASA space exploration through human spaceflight.
The goal is to give the advocate-in-chief an opportunity to make his case for proposals that represent the most radical overhaul of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's human spaceflight effort in the agency's storied 52-year history.
In a preview of the president's key bullet points on how humans will fit into NASA space exploration, administration officials yesterday offered additional details about the approach.
But if advocates for the Bush-era Constellation program – and its deadline for putting Americans back on the moon – were hoping to see the president outline significant changes to his blueprint for NASA after two months of withering criticism, they are likely to be disappointed.
"It's not a radical departure" from the plan the administration outlined in February, when it released its fiscal 2011 budget proposals, says James Lewis, a senior fellow specializing in space and technology policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.