TOPICS > Science

With Eyes on Moon and Mars, Space Exploration Goes Under Review

BY Quinn Bowman  August 14, 2009 at 6:24 PM EDT

The moon from space, courtesy NASA

The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee presented its initial findings to White House and NASA officials Friday. Among its conclusions, the panel found that human missions to the moon by 2020 may not be realistic but that other options like developing new vehicles for human space flight and extending the life of the international space station were workable.

On Friday’s NewsHour, Judy Woodruff talked to the head of the review panel, Norman Augustine.

Listen to the Augustine interview here:

Dr. Jeffrey A. Hoffman, a former space shuttle astronaut and a professor of aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, spoke with the Online NewsHour about some of the emerging recommendations of the review panel and the future of manned space flight.

Hoffman explains the importance of manned exploration in space, the possibilities of utilizing private companies to improve human spaceflight and why scientists continue to study Mars.

Listen to the Hoffman interview here: