Obama to Back New Heavy Rocket, Bigger NASA Budget, Cancel Ares 1S

Sad news, space cowboys: According to NASA insiders, Ares 1 will be no more. Good news, space cowboys! According to the same sources, Señor Presidente Obama has decided that it's worth to invest in space. The man got a plan:

Reporting on a White House and NASA meeting last Wednesday, sources say that the President has decided to give NASA an additional $1 billion in 2011. The extra funding will serve to create a new, simpler heavy lift rocket, as well as to increase the fleet of satellites controlling Earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere.

The objective is to have the heavy rocket ready for a 2018 launch, while Europe, Japan, and Canada would develop a lunar lander and moon base modules with their own billions. While this may make some NASA fans sad—after the US single-handely arrived to the Moon—I'm convinced that the collaboration with other countries is the only way to move forward in manned space exploration.

I mean, the Klingons will be here any minute, people! Let's get on with the program. And where the fuck is Kirk? [Science Magazine]