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Lunar Charlatans

By Keith Cowing
August 8, 2006

Editor’s note: Alas, Mars Society leader Bob Zubrin just can’t seem to fight the urge to go after people who do not agree with his plans 100%. In this case, he lumps anyone who sees value in lunar exploration (which would have to include Mike Griffin) into a rather strange classification.

In a recent Mars Society newsletter Zubrin sys: “In eight years, our ideas have gone from Quixotic to mainstream, and now the task is to make sure they are implemented, and not stopped either by those who oppose the Vision altogether, or those charlatans who are currently peddling fraudulent promises of cheap electricity beamed from Lunar solar power stations in order to lure the public into accepting an initiative degraded to a Moon-only objective. … They have a fundamentally base understanding of human nature,” Zubrin said. “They use deceit, and appeal to greed. They try to tempt people to support space with a false promise of saving them some money at the pump.”

One Mars Society member notes in his blog:

“Spacers really should stick together to advance our agenda. Advocates of solar satellites and making money in space are not the enemy. If we’ve got to have an enemy, lets pick on those who think we should do it all in space with robots.”Reader comments? Send yours to

With regards to Zubrin’s latest: The most important reason to return to the Moon is not solar power stations, not radio astronomy, and it is not Helium-3. Returning to the Moon allows us to learn how to do deep-space human missions again – because we all know NASA isn’t the same organization it was in 1969. Don’t you think it is prudent to get some real experience before we commit people to a 3 year mission, the riskiest ever attempted?

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.