NASA Can't Afford to Visit Moon by 2020
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2009 7:01 PM CDT
A full moon.   (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

(Newser) – With all the hoopla of the Apollo anniversary safely behind us, a White House panel is ready to deliver a sobering assessment of the nation's current moon plans: They're too expensive. The panel, set up by President Obama to review NASA's human space flight program, says the agency's budget is far too skimpy to afford a return trip by the stated goal of 2020, reports Space.com.

Instead, NASA should consider other explorations, such as a rendezvous—not a landing—on sites such as a tiny moon of Mars known as Phobos, notes the Washington Post. The 10-member panel will brief Obama officials tomorrow, then deliver a full report with recommendations by the end of the month.