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December 28, 2005

Comments

Jimmy K.

Let's see now, Why run a foot race, horses are faster and I understand Camels can beat them.
Why climb Everest again, it's already been done.
Why search for new and different worlds, no matter Star Trek has already shown us all we need to know. Why teach a child to walk, they can get around crawling. and on and on.... Come on!!

Jimmy K.

opppps,forgot the last line. We need to go back to the moon before we go to mars.....

Peter

"We need to go back to the moon before we go to mars"

Maybe this is true. (Maybe not.) But even if so, it was not mentioned in the article. And then, what are the justifications for sending humans to Mars, besides it being a more inspiring destination than the Moon? That article doesn't even touch on any of those points.

Going to the Moon would be exciting and interesting (at least to the subset of the population that is fascinated by this stuff, of which I am one), but is that sufficient justification?

Spudis and most other prominent backers of this venture don't appear to think so, so they come up with these other reasons that are less than convincing.

robojocks

well I think they should fix new orleans first. I suppose 1300 dead US citzens don't matter.

steve

I bet the Lunar scientist Spud head doesn't live in New Orleans

LoB

Hmm....let's follow the money behind all of this lunar gas station hoopla to see who is supporting this idea and why. Ever since 1996, when a Science article came out claiming that one martian meteorite might contain fossilized evidence of Martian life, the search for martian life forms and the water that might contain evidence of these life forms has become a NASA priority. This means that NASA money is flowing in the direction of mars-related projects, and any grant-dependent scientist who wants to cash in on that bootie would be wise to imagine a mars connection for their own pet projects. So how's an accomplished lunar scientist supposed to get big bucks from NASA without introducing a mars twist anyway? That's getting harder and harder to pull off. But, no worries - I'll bet the lunar gas station would require years and years of analysis by, well, lunar scientists! But hey, don't whip out the guns yet bubba, lunar scientists have to make a living too. I agree with you and your readers, the big question is whether or not their self-serving ploy is good for this country (which of course includes New Orleans).

How do we know how seriously the lunar gas station idea is being taken over there at NASA headquarters? If it really is cost effective to extract fuels from lunar materials, then someone ought to be able to present a plausible cost-benefit analysis showing that the savings over some reasonable amount of time far outweighs the costs of establishing and maintaining this lunar 'gas station'. Whew - that would be hard to do, and I haven't seen one. Have you? If they haven't even gotten that far yet in the 15 plus years that I, for one, have personally been hearing about the lunar gas station, then I won't bother to start holding my breath yet. But wait, what makes me assume that NASA will feel compelled to consider a cost-benefit analysis? ;-)

Graeme Frear

Hi,
Perhaps there are unexplored areas on Earth, ocean trenches etc. however is anyone considering opening up real estate there?

Why the moon? Because it is three days away, there's still a chance of safety in the event of catastrophic failure. Rescue missions are still a feasible undertaking.

Frontiers are necessary for the human psyche (IMHO), it provides for the escapists and the XYY factor.

The moon is a stepping stone to all other points in the star system and beyond, the gravity well being six times less than Earth.

It gives the human race a second chance for survival should anything happen to the fourth planet.
(Remember the proverb about all your eggs in one basket)

It will give thousands of people dreams of a new future, remember the "U.S. of America" was built on those. Perhaps another gold rush would be nice, except for the transportation costs.

Perhaps a moral obligation as well to the rest of us who inhabit planet Earth, we who are not Americans, and have little hope for territorial expansion, we who could say, "we've helped build the economic and military empire named 'U.S.A', now it's time to give something back to the millions who toiled to help that dream come true..."

So, that's my 2c worth,
Cheers, Graeme.

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