Moon Plan Blues

I had to pay my 7-year old niece a $1 "potty mouth" penalty this weekend for saying "sucks." I used the word in reference to my aim (we were at grandma's trying to hit the corner stop sign with acorns from approximately 15 feet away and I kept missing. My excuse for the lousy performance: I have little opportunity to practice, living in Manhattan where there are no stop signs. But alas, there's no excuse for foul language around the kiddies.)

Mars Society president Robert Zubrin doesn't have to pay a fee for saying "this policy sucks" in a speech last week at the Space Frontier Conference in L.A. to describe the Vision for Space Exploration in conjunction with NASA's Exploration Systems Architecture Study. "The pertinent issue right now is whether there really will be a Moon-Mars initiative, or whether this is just nice theme music for a rationalization of the space station program,” Zubrin said.

For a range of reasons, many now agree with a negative assessment of the moon initiative, and even early supporters who first viewed ESAS as a good plan to implement the VSE now voice second thoughts.

Jeff Foust, covering the
debate over the moon plan, rounds up and gauges "signs of dissent within the community of space activist and enthusiast organizations" in connection with the vision and ESAS.

(And if you missed Jeff's
article last week, check out his overview of the lunar exploration plans of Europe, Japan, China, and India, and the issue of international cooperation in future moon missions.)

Much more on moon-Mars exploration to come.

Would space business be as much fun if it was easy? Well, it wouldn't suck.

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