"Obama To Propose $6 Billion NASA Budget Increase"

"President Barack Obama will outline a revamped space policy on Thursday that will use $6 billion in new funding over five years to create 2,500 new jobs in Florida with the ultimate goal of going to Mars.

Obama has been facing criticism from some members of the far-flung U.S. space community over the direction of space policy after NASA officials announced plans in March to kill the Constellation program that had been designed to launch astronauts into orbit and return Americans to the moon.

The Constellation program, developed under the Bush administration, was aimed at returning astronauts to the moon in the 2020s to clear the way for a Mars mission.

White House officials said on Tuesday that Obama wants NASA to begin work on building a new heavy lift rocket sooner than envisioned under the canceled Constellation program, with a commitment to decide in 2015 on the specific rocket that will take astronauts deeper into space."

Steve Holland reports for Reuters April 14, 2010.

See Also:

"NASA's Makeover" (Atlantic)

Source: Reuters, 04/14/2010