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(More) Political Naivete From The Mars Society

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
December 13, 2006

Back to the Moon! But Why?, NY Times

Editor’s note: The Mars Society sent out this comment today in response to this recent NY Times article. As for some dramatic change occuring on 21 January 2009, yes, there could indeed be some change: No VSE and no human exploration – anywhere. NASA already has difficulty just getting back to the Moon (and retiring the shuttle and finishing the ISS) – all with insufficient funds. Why would anyone replace that initial task right now with a vastly more complex and expensive one i.e. Mars? As for the derisive comments about the Moon, oh well, this little missive is from the “Mars” Society, after all. Pay no attention to that nearby world three days away. There’s nothing there to benefit humanity 😉

“Overbye’s argument’s are certainly to the point. NASA’s only honest counter to them, to wit, “We are aiming for the Moon because that is what President Bush decided we should do,” will vanish as a programmatic foundation on January 21, 2009. A better foundation for the human exploration vision needs to be laid, one based, not on an arbitrary decision made by a political transient, but on truth.”

“If the goal of NASA’s human spaceflight program is to make profound scientific discoveries, that is to be done on Mars, not the Moon. If NASA’s goal is to initiate the human settlement of space, that is to be done on Mars, not the Moon, because it is on Mars, not the Moon, where the resources to support human settlement are to be found. If NASA wants to be able to defend the Vision for Space Exploration, it needs to make the Vision defensible. To do that, it needs to accept the challenge of taking on a truly worthwhile objective; Humans to Mars.”

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