Astronaut Harrison Schmitt collects lunar rake samples during an Apollo 17 moonwalk in December 1972. CREDIT: NASA

US Needs New Deep-Space Agency, Apollo Astronaut Says

by Mike Wall, SPACE Senior Writer
Date: 06 December 2012 Time: 03:39 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO — The United States should create a new agency dedicated to manned exploration of the moon, Mars and other destinations in deep space, a former Apollo astronaut says.

Human exploration of such far-flung locales is a challenging proposition, so it would benefit from the type of laser-like attention that NASA gave its Apollo moon program back in the 1960s and early ’70s, said Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the lunar surface on the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

“You need to have an agency that is focused on that, and almost nothing else,” Schmitt said here today (Dec. 6) at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. He recommends that the government “create a new agency that can indeed learn the lessons of Apollo and apply them.”

Read more: US Needs New Deep-Space Agency, Apollo Astronaut Says | Space

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