NASA will stay on track to return humans to the Moon by 2020, according to an overview of President Obama's 2010 budget request released on Thursday. Recently, various groups - including Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the space advocacy group the Planetary Society - have called for NASA to send astronauts to new destinations, such as asteroids. But the budget request backs a plan developed under the Bush administration to retire the space shuttle by 2010 and develop a system to return humans to the Moon by 2020. NASA is planning to stay the course - at least for now. "The direction we have at the current time is, 'Proceed as you were,'" says agency spokesperson Stephanie Schierholz. Under the proposed budget, the agency would receive $18.7 billion in 2010. Combined with $1 billion in funding provided in an economic stimulus package signed into law last week, NASA would get $2.4 billion more than it did in 2008.
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