Op/Ed – Obama win should keep NASA’s asteroid, Mars plans on course ITworld

No one knows how the federal government’s space agency would have fared under a President Romney — though it’s not hard to imagine a smaller budget and more privatized space exploration and research efforts.
But the re-election of President Barack Obama on Tuesday likely preserves NASA’s current plans, which include sending Americans to Mars by the mid-2030s.
The Mars goal is the second part of a two-step mandate from Obama to NASA in 2010, when he directed the agency under a new law to land astronauts on an asteroid near Earth by 2025 and to send a manned mission to orbit Mars about a decade after.