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July 5th, 2011
04:55 PM ET

The U.S. Space Program

In this week's special edition of CNN Student News, we turn the spotlight on NASA. The agency is getting ready to retire the space shuttle program and is moving forward with its Orion program. We want to hear from you! In your opinion, what should NASA set as its priority? A trip back to the moon? Missions to Mars? Or do you think that the agency should be grounded?
John Martin, CNNSN Writer

Filed under: Feedback • News Coverage
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. LoftyAmbitions

    As educators (an English prof and a librarian, both space-geeks), we're happy to see students covering the end of the space shuttle program. We have a blog where we're writing about our trips to the launches this year: Lofty Ambitions Blog.

    At a showing of "An Article of Hope" (about astronaut Ilan Ramon), a student at my university asked how she could become an astronaut. Mike Massimino told her to study what she loved. But there's more to it. There was a lag between Apollo and the shuttle, and U.S. manned spaceflight is, in part, up to the next generation.

    Rascally astronaut Walt Cunningham says that we should go back to the Moon as part of setting our sights on Mars. The shuttle draws criticism, in part, because it had to find its missions. The Hubble Telescope and the International Space Station ended up to be amazing accomplishments. Those weren't originally clear goals, but we made it work and brought the world into orbit.

    July 5, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
  2. Nadav

    NASA definitely should take a trip to Mars, maybe with an aircraft going faster than 12,500 mph. I'd also want to see a trip to the moon to see a special energy that's there which could change global warming.

    July 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  3. alexis

    I'd like NASA to take missions to Mars because then kids that what to be astronauts can dream farther than the moon!

    July 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  4. Austin

    well nasa could go to a lot of places but i think that they should go to mars because we don't know a lot about this plant and well no human has ever been on it.

    July 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  5. Kamilla

    Hello, I'm Kamilla in South Korea. I think the basic Orion program missions are awesome, too, but 'Finding for other organisms and lives from another planet' will be marvelous, I think! They should travel all over the space as possilble as they can, and discover the special planets, and find for the new organisms and lives. They can bring them to earth and show to all over the world. That would be amazing!

    July 7, 2011 at 5:22 am |
  6. Rupert

    i think Mars will be interesting. Many people say that Mars id the closest planet to the Earth in the solar system. It will be fantastic if they find somethig weird or surprising

    July 7, 2011 at 8:46 am |
  7. Kathy

    With starvation, disease, lack of medical care/insurance , poor economy, unemployment rampant....why are we spending so much money on a space exploration program to places that dont even support life or give us needed resources. I feel the program is caterting to a select group of the population in the name of science....wake up !
    where are your priorities???

    July 7, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  8. Blake

    I think we should go into space.Where??? Anywhere is fine just take a closer look at the planet. CNN Student Rocks!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  9. Class 11 NWVS

    RR- I think they should keep flying, go to Mars, and good luck NASA.

    BG- Go to Mars to see if people can live there.

    SB- I think they should do both, go to the moon and Mars. Also send robots to planets to take pictures and videos to see if there is some life.

    AR- I think they should go to the moon and bring Mr. C so he leaves me alone

    KH- Definately keep flying...all the way to Mars.

    MS- See above

    AG- Mars!!! Lots to learn

    JP- Stay here and fix earth's problems first.

    Mr. B and J- Save on fuel...my truck is expensive to fill

    Mr. C- More moon trips!!!!!!

    GOOD LUCK NASA!

    July 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  10. Sasha

    I think NASA should go to Irlamd, then from there they should come home.

    July 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  11. kevin

    the shttle sill go to the moon i no i wold like to go to the moon.

    July 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  12. michelle

    i love space and it should go off

    July 8, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  13. Micky

    I think this mission should continue because when a person go to Mars they would have a better idea of space. So my resolution is that they should do a trip tp Mars.

    July 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  14. Xabria

    I think that NASA should go into different galxies next. During the school year our class studied the solar system and other things in space and one day we found pictures of galaxies on the internet. Ever since then I've been facinated with the universe. It would be really cool to see what is inside thos bright and aging stars.

    July 8, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  15. Brayden

    The space program is great. The scientists at N.A.S.A. are brilliant enough to keep going until every mystery out their is solved, and then some. Who knows what we'll do next.

    July 8, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  16. Dasol

    I hope missions to Mars would come true soon. I think it's very important to make a new improvement on space and Mars would be crucial to humans in the future. The priority should be Mars though it could take a long, long time and lots of efforts.

    July 9, 2011 at 1:19 am |
  17. Grace

    Why should we stay home when we haven't seen Mars? Due to the fact we are so have so much prior knowledge about Mars, it's a reasonable idea to try and learn more about it. And so why not go there!? We already know so much about Mars already! But if you ask yourself, "Why Mars? Why not Jupiter or Saturn?" First of all, we can't visit those planets because of temperature or something like that. Mars is the most obtainable planet to visit because we know so much about it, and it has possibly water on it to hold human life. It would be an AWESOME experience to go there. Whoever is going to Mars, I'm really envious!

    July 9, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  18. Hyunstikio

    I think Nasa should do missions to Mars because in 1000years, Earth will be destroyed and our descendants will lose home. So we should prepare a new home and Mars is the most adequate and Earth- familiar planet. Therefore I think missions to Mars is the most important thing because it gives us home.

    July 9, 2011 at 4:54 am |
  19. Momo

    I think NASA should visit Mars and not the moon because we have visited the moon many times. As for Mars, its farther so we don't visit it often. But yet I also think the agency should stop for a little while and take a break.

    July 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  20. Evan

    I beleive that though many people thrive on seeing the next NASA exploration there are times in life when you just have to retire. Also this discision will have A bad side no matter what the decision is it is completely out of my hands

    July 10, 2011 at 12:28 am |
  21. sally

    i think they should take a trip to mars and explore it and stop at the moon.

    July 10, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  22. Bryan

    Missions to Mars ! Because Mars maybe the next place that human can live except Earth !

    July 10, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  23. Summer

    We should not stay grounded. Other countrys will gain more knowlage and use it against America. Also how will we ever grow as a nation and prepare for the furture from a distance? Then the idea to send Americans to Mars is such a risk that we, financaly, cant afford. To put all this money that could be going to other funds in one mission that we are not, technology wise, unprepared for is a horriable idea if the mission fails. Then we have waisted all this money on what? A mistake? We need more information on Mars so we can make the right kind of equiptment for Mars' atmopshere. So, in essence, sending Americans to the moon is the way to go. We already have a substancal amont of information about the Moon. We aready have the equipment that can withstand the Moon's atmosphere.The more we explore the more we will find. There is no use stopping on project to start another when there is so much more to be discovered. Its the most financail and realistic trip. That is why we should go the moon.

    July 11, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  24. Jacob

    I think that we should go back to the moon. It would be something that I think is a really big step for NASA. I am really happy that we will be able to have the choice.

    July 11, 2011 at 2:57 am |
  25. Yi

    I think a trip to Mars is very necessary for NASA. They should do some experiments there. Good Luck to NASA!

    July 11, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  26. Anna

    Auestion: Venus is near or Mars is near?
    If venus if closer. I think NASA should go trip ot Venus.
    And see if there has a aliens.
    Or have place for people to stay.
    And see what venus looks like.
    Thank you!

    July 11, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  27. cui

    From my prospective,i think it is unnecessary to explore the mars.Now,our main job is to make use the moon and make some beneficials from it for human beings.it is a waste of money and resources to explore other planets.we must consider the practicals.

    July 11, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  28. KangSan

    I think that NASA should set Mars as their priority. The Moon is not an unimportant goal, but we should go further than our past. We already had more than a few trip to the moon. And I think it's about time to land people on MARS, a NEW territory to conquer, and a new place to investigate our past and the future. And find this new frontier waiting to be found

    July 12, 2011 at 5:42 am |
  29. Hyun

    I think NASA should travel to Mars. Mars is the most similar to our Earth so we must study about it. Also, there can be some useable resources in Mars, for example, water. It is valuable enough to study hard. By investigating Mars, we would be able to live more comfortably.

    July 13, 2011 at 7:40 am |
  30. Ben

    If you look at it, NASA has already accomplished so much in 30 years. If they keep sending missions to the moon, it just feels like a waste of money; been there, done that. I think the only thing to keep NASA going is to visit places nobody else has ventured before. Take 10 years and build a vehicle capable of going to a further planet than Mars with an astronaut crew.

    July 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  31. Sammy

    There is no practical point on going somewhere just to say that you've been there. We need to work with the Moon and make beneficial use of it before we travel to other planets like Mars. As of right now, Mars is unimportant.

    July 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
  32. Sammy

    Just wanted to point out that it would take years to actually travel to Jupiter and millions of years to escape the galaxy.

    July 13, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  33. scott

    I think this program is brilliant. All astronauts can visit the Moon and Mars. I'm proud of U.. Have a safe trip!!! Someday, I will travel to other planets..
    Personally, I like Jupiter. Is it possible to travel to Jupiter?? I hope NASA team can travel to Jupiter later. And call me!! ^^

    July 13, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  34. carash

    most of all, NASA should research the method of space travel more faster than present. I think that's the key of spacecraft development of next generation. now, space suttle speed is slow as if snail movement.

    July 14, 2011 at 4:22 am |
  35. andrew

    honestly Id like to see us continue to go into outer space because if you think about it as far as we know Earth is the only planet with life so it would be cool to find life elsewhere.

    July 14, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  36. Carson

    In my opinion we should go to mars A.S.A.P so we can take soil samples and see if they have in rare ore there. We may even find more elements for the periodic table. I hope we find element 115 Ununpentium.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  37. Carson

    Since Mars' atmosphere is pretty much C02 and cacti require little water, we could plant cacti to produce oxygen for the atmosphere. Maybe even put some more gasses in the atmosphere so we can live there.

    July 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  38. Darren

    Hello!I am Darren from China.I think traveling to Mars maybe more significant.Nowadays,many countries are developing this technology.For instant,China and Russia are doing a experiment called MARS 500 which Simulate a travel to Mars.I think it's all people's duty to discover more secret of the space.

    July 15, 2011 at 11:17 am |
  39. Genevieve

    I think NASA should go to Mars and explore the planet to see if there was, or is life. People are very curious if their is life on that planet. No matter what I will be curious.

    July 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  40. sally

    I think NASA should find UFO. Who knows what might lives out there.

    July 19, 2011 at 9:13 am |
  41. Ms.Jasmine

    I believe that NASA should definitely step out of the box and try something new. There are thousands of more things in this world to explore other than the moon. Mars would be a good place to start an adventure, you'll never know what's instored!

    July 26, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  42. Joshua

    I think NASA would be smart to go to Mars because we know the moon is already possible to land on and if you ground the whole thing thousands of people will be out of jobs. I think you should go to Mars and learn what we can.

    July 27, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  43. Grace

    I believe that NASA should finally pause its space ambitions and focus on educating students like us about NASA. The government is pouring too much money into sending people off to space. What would happen if kids don't learn about NASA's work? Who knows if NASA will end because it didn't give much thought to how much kids actually care about NASA? At this point of NASA's history, education is vital.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  44. Jessica

    Frankly, they should focus on mars. If they think there could have been life on it...dont they want to know for sure? i remember you guys showing a special suit made specifically for mars. all it needs is a little more pressure....help HER!

    July 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  45. Christine

    I think they should do a final trip to the moon as a farewell liftoff, that would really be something special

    July 30, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  46. Joy

    I don't think NASA should go to Mars. Sometimes it's better to leave it untouched, natural as it is. And like I heard, special things are not far away, But in our minds.

    August 1, 2011 at 3:39 am |
  47. Sam

    Sorry I'm a little late with the comment but, I'm a first time user. I think we should put our focus on Mars because we have had a person set foot there yet. If we Americans could find a way to get to Mars we would have made a huge accomplishment.

    August 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  48. Wilson

    Definitely, what I thinking of is that the NASA should do is to explore the other planet exept for the Mars. We human being are generally learn more of our atmosphere and the universe. For sure, in the near future, more experients can be completed by mastering huge of datas of the universe.

    August 6, 2011 at 3:01 am |
  49. Anonymous

    I think it should go to Mars! Time to visit another planet!

    August 10, 2011 at 12:53 pm |