Budget cuts recently spanked NASA's space program, reducing it to a ragtag fleet of space-faring robots, but wait. President Obama somehow found $6 billion for the beleaguered space agency, in the name of creating 2,500 additional jobs at NASA. The president will announce the "bold new course the administration is charting for NASA" this afternoon at 4 PM Eastern.
Mankind's arrival on Mars might happen faster if we use technology with which we're already familiar. The idea is to abandon the expensive Constellation program with its massively awesome Ares V rocket, and instead use old-timey vehicles based on '70s-era space shuttle technology.
The various configurations you see in the graphic above would lift interplanetary spacecraft into orbit, a staging area where they would be poised to explore new worlds and beyond. Exciting stuff.
Via Fast Company