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NASA Exploration Patch
The Vision for Space Exploration is the United States space policy announced on January 14, 2004 by U.S. President George W. Bush. It is seen as a response to the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the state of human spaceflight at NASA, and a way to regain public enthusiasm for space exploration.The Vision calls for the space program to:Complete the International Space Station by 2010 Retire the Space Shuttle by 2010 Develop the Orion spacecraft (formerly known as the Crew Exploration Vehicle) by 2008, and conduct its first human spaceflight mission by 2014 Develop Shuttle Derived Launch Vehicles Explore the Moon with robotic spacecraft missions by 2008 and crewed missions by 2020 Explore Mars and other destinations with robotic and crewed missions When the Vision was announced in January 2004, the U.S. Congress and the scientific community gave it a mix of positive and negative reviews. For example, Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) said, "I think this is the best thing that has happened to the space program in decades," while physicist and outspoken manned spaceflight opponent Robert L. Park said that robotic spacecraft "are doing so well it's going to be hard to justify sending a human."Others, such as the Mars Society have argued that it makes more sense to avoid going back to the Moon and instead focus on going to Mars first.In a position paper issued by the National Space Society (NSS), a return to the Moon should be considered a high space program priority, in order to begin development of the knowledge and identification of the industries unique to the Moon. The NSS believes that the Moon may be a repository of the history and possible future of our planet, and that the six Apollo landings only scratched the surface of that treasure.
The Exploration patch depicts NASA's vision for space exploration, with an arc that extends over the Earth, and then proceeds to extend to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
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