Ambitious Plans for Next 50 Years of Space Exploration Proposed

The International Academy of Astronautics presented its outline for a 50-year exploration program here Oct. 13. The plan features robotic missions and human habitation of the moon and, eventually, Mars, the examination of near-Earth asteroids and the construction of large telescopes to scan space for Earth-like planets. In an interim report on its “Next Steps in Exploring Space” study, to be completed in October 2003, IAA officials said the most important breakthrough for the endeavor is not technology but a better exploitation of the public’s inherent interest in space exploration.