Cape Canaveral, Fla.
NASA this week unveiled its plan for returning to the moon, saying it would combine parts from Apollo rockets and space shuttles to get the job done by 2018. Relying on old equipment, officials said, will be faster and cheaper than testing and building a newfangled spacecraft. “Think of it as Apollo on steroids,” said the space agency’s administrator, Michael Griffin. President Bush has called for returning to the moon as a steppingstone toward exploring Mars. But with the Iraq war and the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina adding to the already massive federal budget deficit, critics said the $104 billion price tag for a lunar mission would be a tough sell in Congress. The last manned lunar mission, Apollo 17, was in 1972.
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