March 23rd, 2010
02:18 PM GMT
The UK government has announced that the country will spend nearly $60 million on the creation of a new space agency that it says will help fulfill its ambitions in outer space.
The agency will be a hub for the country's space activity and scientists will study data generated by earth observation satellites and analyze information to understand the effects of climate change.
The agency will also focus on advising on the security and resilience of space systems around the world.
The space industry supports nearly 70,000 jobs in the UK and contributes nearly $9 billion to the economy.
The move by the UK government to commit millions of dollars to the space industry is in stark contrast to a recent decision by U.S. President Barack Obama to scrap it's lunar program.
NASA's Constellation program had sought to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020.
Constellation also intended to study the idea of establishing a moon colony. The program was set to follow the U.S. space agency's shuttle missions, which are due to end in September.
Instead of building new spacecraft of its own, NASA is planning to invest in space technology research and spend $6 billion to pay private space groups to develop and build new rockets to take astronauts into orbit.
The plan leaves many open questions about the future of U.S. space travel, including if and when NASA will ever build rockets of its own again, when astronauts will return to space and in what kind of spacecraft.
We want to know what you think.
Do you think it's worth spending billions of dollars in space exploration? Should we bother going back to the moon?
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