Man on the Moon

Birthday of the day: Happy birthday, Seema!

I listened to President Bush’s speech yesterday about a new space program, and I was disappointed. It reminded me of the former President Bush’s space program - maybe not as pricey, but just as misguided. It’s better than no plan at all, but with the shuttles going to pot we were unlikely to end up with no plan at all.

Consider, for example, that the plan is to have men on the moon sometime between 2015 and 2020. May I remind El Presidente that we had men on the moon in 1969? There’s nothing on the moon. It’s not a good place to make rocket fuel or oxygen or anything else. The moon is the Mohave Desert of space - there’s nothing there. There’s no gravity. There’s no atmosphere. There’s no sunlight for 14 days a month. Anyone we send there will be permanently dependent on Earth for supplies. Considering that the last shipment was in 1972, I wouldn’t want to be the one up there waiting for the next batch of groceries.

There’s only one place worth going at our current level of technology - Mars. Mars has an atmosphere. Mars has gravity. Mars is a great place to make rocket fuel and oxygen and anything else you need. According to the BBC, the Russians have a clue; they’re planning to go to Mars within a decade. They probably read the book.

Go Ruskies!

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