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Orbiting fuel stations proposed for trips to the Moon, Mars, and beyond

Vlad Savov
August 5, 2009
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A US government panel, summoned by el presidente to review the future of human space travel, has expressed strong support for introducing fuel depots into Earth's orbit. Refueling between stops is expected to cut down significantly on the weight of spacecraft and, accordingly, eliminate the need to engineer ever more powerful rockets to launch missions. It would then be up to private companies to compete -- and NASA already knows a thing or two about privatizing space missions -- by reducing costs and developing more efficient methods. While by no means the only potion NASA has bubbling, if the panel concludes in favor of orbiting gas stations, they will form the backbone of all future extraterrestrial exploration. So we're just letting you know in advance -- we're nice like that.

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