Return to the Moon: Outpost or sorties?, Smithsonian Air & Space Moon Blog
"Apparently, the view of NASAs acting Administrator is that the Moon is a box to be checked-off on the way to Mars. Hence, we dont really need to establish an outpost because were just satisfying a political requirement in implementing policy, not conducting a technical experiment to use the Moon to prepare for journeys beyond."
Editor's note: Dr. Paul Spudis makes the argument that a Moon Outpost makes more sense than sorties and that NASA really wants to bypass the Moon for Mars.
At current and foreseeable budget levels the cost of a Moon Outpost would be substantial and have significant detrimental effect on NASA's other programs. Recognizing that fact and wanting to go instead perhaps to near Earth asteroids and Mars, does last weeks testimony of NASA Acting Administrator Chris Scolese really in fact signal a change in direction? A direction that might exclude building a Moon Outpost?
Should NASA focus on exploration beyond the Moon and perhaps instead enter a public-private partnership for a Moon Outpost? Or perhaps NASA should enter into a partnership with other countries such as Japan, India, Russia and the EU? What do you think?
Editor's Update: Let's add this to the equation. The direct folks might be happy.
Is Ares I adequate? Obama administration to order a new study, Orlando Sentinel
"In a major turnaround, the White House is expected this week to order a review of the fledgling spacecraft program that NASA had hoped would one day replace the space shuttle, the Orlando Sentinel has learned."
"Now Direct proponents are hopeful that their rocket design will get a second look by the new panel created to examine Ares and all viable alternatives."