NASA has been working on a plan to put a manned space station into deep space for months. The fact that NASA was willing to confirm such a plan existed led to speculation that the Obama administration had already approved the plan and was waiting until after the election to announce it. Now, however, an unnamed senior administration official denies the White House supports such a project, according to SPACE.com.
Of course, we're talking about Washington politics. Officials who will not allow themselves to be identified on non-sensitive, non-national security matters hardly encourage confidence. Remember, too, that Washington is currently in a huge public debate about, among other things, cutting federal spending. This would not be a good time to push what could be painted as an expensive new space project.
We know NASA has been working on such a plan. We know NASA made no determined effort to keep it secret, or to deny it. We know the project would advance Mr. Obama's announced plan for human spaceflight. So, will President Obama support it? We'll see.