“Orbiting the earth, as thrilling as it is, is not exploring space.”

—Kathryn Thornton, professor, associate dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and former astronaut, in April 3 testimony before a subcommittee on space and aeronautics.  Thornton argued that the space shuttle and international space station firmly anchor humans in low-earth orbit and that the goal of exploration instead must be Mars and beyond.