For years, people have been complaining that NASA has been going nowhere, but now a group of NASA alumni (including Buzz Aldrin) have joined their voices to the protest, by lodging an official complaint.
A paper posted to the blog of the National Space Society and written by former NASA employees Aldrin, Feng Hsu and Ken Cox, suggests that America's space program has been stalled since the Apollo missions, and needs to find new targets as opposed to the 2004-announced Vision for Space Exploration, which aimed to get people back on the moon.
Instead, they say, NASA should focus on asteroid exploration as a short-term goal en route to missions to Mars and its moons, with consideration to be made for permanent space stations to act as midway service stations for the astronauts. Our own moon, they say, shouldn't be ignored altogether, but any future lunar missions should be part of an international task force allowing other countries to join in our astro-glories.
This paper won't only be available to those bored enough to read it online; a shortened version will be released shortly and sent to President Obama for consideration. Whether he'll decide that the future of space exploration is high enough on his list of priorities to act on it right now, however, is known only to the stars.
Astronaut-authored report says NASA needs new direction [New Scientist]