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Friday, September 23, 2005

The Crew Exploration Vehicle riding atop a modified version of the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket booster.

"Apollo on steroids." I could post up my own entry about the devastation and tragedies wrought by Hurricane Katrina (and most likely Rita), but I won’t. On a more upbeat note, if you’re a nerd, a space enthusiast or a taxpayer who just doesn’t plain give a rat’s ass about where his or her taxes are going, NASA has unveiled its new plan last Monday about how it’s gonna return to the moon…which can take place as soon as 2018. Below are pics of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) that will replace the space shuttle around 2012 [though the shuttle itself will be retired in 2010 after the International Space Station is (hopefully) complete] and the heavy-lift vehicle that will ferry into orbit the lander astronauts will use to touch down on the moon, after a 46-year hiatus. Needless to say, I’m enthusiastic...though it’s gonna be another 6-7 years till the CEV even begins its test flights. HOPEFULLY, the CEV will become a reality...and not end up with the same fate as the National Aerospace Plane or the X-33 VentureStar. In other words: Not be cancelled. That is all.

Various concept artwork depicting the Crew Exploration Vehicle and the heavy-lift vehicle in action.
Images courtesy of NASA.gov