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Let's Stop Pretending We Can Establish Human Outposts on the Moon

12 Feb 2010, 01:20 UTC
Let's Stop Pretending We Can Establish Human Outposts on the Moon
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

We regularly see articles lamenting the fact that we’re stuck in Earth orbit and how with the Space Shuttle retirement approaching, we’ll soon have to pay others to even get there. These frustrated writers seem to suggest that if we were just able to advocate more effectively for the funding, we could travel to the Moon on the first available big rocket and establish human outposts there. Even John Noble Wilford, the Pulitzer-Prize winning space and science writer, notes in the New York Times that “humans remain stalled in low orbit”. With Obama’s proposed deferral of large rocket development and the human return to the Moon, Wilford asks, “Can Measured Beat Bold?". harkening back to Apollo when we took the boldest step of all. Wilford’s reference to “Measured” acknowledges Obama’s current approach to invest in advanced technology, robotics, and new infrastructure that will allow us to effectively use the International Space Station (ISS) that’s nearing completion, and conduct lunar missions without humans onboard.
Obama anticipates that new and cheaper solutions to accessing space will emerge from partnering with the private sector, and is urging NASA to focus more on our many national challenges such as climate change monitoring, disaster mitigation, ...

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