Whether you’re a fan of the Bush Administration or not, you probably remember the kooky ‘Moon-to-Mars’ Vision a la 2004:
Our third goal is to return to the moon by 2020, as the launching point for missions beyond. Beginning no later than 2008, we will send a series of robotic missions to the lunar surface to research and prepare for future human exploration. Using the Crew Exploration Vehicle, we will undertake extended human missions to the moon as early as 2015, with the goal of living and working there for increasingly extended periods. Eugene Cernan, who is with us today – the last man to set foot on the lunar surface – said this as he left: “We leave as we came, and God willing as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind.” America will make those words come true.
I was with many in thinking, “Maybe it’s possible, but not on those time tables.” And willing to guess I wasn’t in the minority:
Bush’s grand space exploration vision appears to be on the verge of being scuttled well before launch.
So, now that it appears it (or something close) is going to happen;
[i]NASA said on Monday it plans to build a permanently occupied base on the moon, most likely at the lunar north pole.
The habitat will serve as a science outpost as well as a testbed for technologies needed for future travel to Mars, and construction will follow a series of flights to the moon scheduled to begin by 2020.[/i]
And the time lines apparently weren’t that conservative nor the vision an uneducated one;
The survival of the human race depends on its ability to find new homes elsewhere in the universe because there’s an increasing risk that a disaster will destroy the Earth, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking said Tuesday.
I’m not going to say Bush is a genius, but I can admit that I was wrong in thinking the Moon-to-Mars Vision to be way off-base.
And so I’m not accused of cheerleading; He was wrong not to fire Rumsfeld and should’ve rectified the situation in Iraq long before, and for reasons better than, the midterm elections.