Apollo astronaut urges new agency dedicated to deep space

Apollo Apollo Agency Create

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 laserlike 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 ( via msnbc.msn.com ).

"You need to have an agency that is focused on that, and almost nothing else," Schmitt said here Thursday 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."

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