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Panel finds little consensus about space priorities Houston Chronicle

Experts from government, the aerospace industry and academia admitted Thursday that little consensus exists on a new focus for the nation’s exploration of space. The group, meeting in Washington amid speculation that President Bush soon may announce a bold new initiative for the U.S. space program, debated a return to the moon, a mission to Mars or less costly investments in new technologies. “For the first time in (NASA’s) history there is no new human spaceflight mission in the pipeline,” said Paul Spudis, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and one of the nation’s most forceful advocates for resuming lunar explorations. “There is nothing beyond the international space station at the moment.”