The partisan divide between Democrat and Republican lawmakers has extended from
While both sides of the political aisle want
In addition to providing a path to Mars, the ARM program would only cost
"ARM achieves deep space operations experience much sooner, and at much lower cost than lunar exploration," explained
"First, ARM would extend human space flight to a lunar distant retrograde orbit. Sorties into true interplanetary space to a near-Earth asteroid would follow, preparing for journeys to the Mars system (perhaps landing on Phobos or Deimos.) The Martian surface -- the goal -- would then be clearly visible, and clearly achievable."
House Republicans, however, want
Proponents of a moon base say it would allow
"I frankly don't think anyone would be pushing asteroid redirect if the U.S. embraced a return to the moon,"
"The rest of the world is focused on going to the moon. We're the only country that's out of sync with that."
House Republicans are so enamored with the idea of a moon base, they say they won't expand funding for Mars exploration until it scraps the ARM plan, a claim Friedman warns is a red herring.
"I don't think there's an iota of indication [that funding would be raised with a renewed moon focus]. There are people who will talk about that idea," Friedman said.
"The idea of actually appropriating extra money, we haven't seen anything like that."
Most Popular Stories
- 'Lucy's' Super Powers Tops 'Hercules' at Box Office
- The 2014 Fastest-Growing 100
- The Rise and Fall of Richard Alarcon
- Vancrest Assisted Living Project to Add 20 Jobs
- Fighting Blocks Investigators, Police From MH17 Crash Site
- VW Site Could Mean Another 2,000 Jobs for Chattanooga
- Insecticides Permeate U.S. Food, Water Supply
- U.N. Renews Demand for Gaza Cease-Fire
- Nissan Profits Rise on Growth in U.S., China
- 'Sharknado' Sequel Has Bite and Lots of Laughs