NASA administrator Charles Bolden has dismissed the idea that the space agency will attempt another manned Moon mission. Speaking with contemporaries, Bolden said "NASA will not take the lead on a human lunar mission... probably in my lifetime." Bolden added that if the next administration reverses NASA's decision it would set back the manned space program in its entirety. He warned that, should we divert resources towards a manned moon mission in the future, we would probably never "see Americans on the Moon, on Mars, near an asteroid, or anywhere" in our lifetimes, explaining that "we cannot continue to change the course of human exploration."
The agency will instead focus on a manned research mission to a nearby Asteroid, as it announced three weeks ago. That's not to say that we won't see another human on the Moon — there are multiple companies planning commercial space flights, and Golden Spike last December committed to take people to the Moon by 2020.
Bolden's statements echo the words of President Obama who, while making a speech at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, acknowledged there was a desire among some to return to the Moon before exploring the further reaches of space. "I just have to say pretty bluntly here: we've been there before," said Obama back in 2010, "There's a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do."