sexta-feira, 31 de outubro de 2008

UM MAPA DE ESTRADAS PARA O ESPAÇO


A Planetary Society, sociedade fundada por Carl Sagan, está a aproveitar este momento de mudança de Presidente no Estados Unidos para promover um novo alento na ciência e na exploração espacial. Este é o teor da declaração que a Sociedade tem no seu sítio para recolha de assinaturas:

The current U.S. Administration’s Vision for Space Exploration has been fatally compromised. But with the new Administration, the U.S. has an opportunity to embrace a new Roadmap to Space: one that will galvanize public support, reach out internationally and will be both politically and financially sustainable for years to come.

I support these Principles of the Roadmap to Space and have endorsed them below.

* Human exploration of Mars should be a primary goal. Mars poses extraordinary scientific opportunities, and offers tremendous potential benefits...including a long-term abode for humankind. Mars also commands public interest: it can unify and electrify mass public enthusiasm. The Moon is an international stepping stone to Mars.

* The United States’ human space flight program is an enduring symbol of global leadership, and an incomparable engine for technological innovation. It should be continued, but with robust international partnerships reflecting its importance to humanity everywhere.

* Science and exploration are inseparable. They complement and benefit each other, and one should not be sacrificed for the other. Robotic exploration is no less vital than human exploration: both are part of the great missions of discovery driven by our human need to reach out and explore the unknown.

* NASA’s mission—including the development of human space flight capabilities—needs to be realistic in scope and time. An arbitrary and unrealistic schedule in the current program has resulted in massive funding shortfalls, and the sacrifice of Earth and space sciences and other programs.

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