We Choose The Moon

The debate about returning to the Moon still rages. Not long ago, NASA officials stated that the Moon was no longer the next target for the nation’s human space flight program, seemingly notwithstanding the 2010 NASA Authorization Act’s directive that cislunar space be the next phase of human exploration. There are many out there trying to counter the quixotic notion that we’ve already been to the Moon, so why return? Actually, it was our grandfathers and fathers who went to the Moon, not us. One site trying to show why the Moon is the next step is We Choose The Moon. Please drop-by and give them a visit.

1 comment to We Choose The Moon

  • JohnHunt

    First time here. My compliments on your site.

    On your “Moon vs Asteroids-What Congress Said” post, Marcel F. Williams commented about the need to return to the Moon. I very much agree.

    But, IMO, we need to find a workable compromise. If we insist on a manned return to the Moon then this is considered incompatible with an early manned mission to go beyond the Earth-Moon system (i.e. asteroid, Deimos or Mars).

    The compromise that I propose is to separate NASA’s manned program beyond LEO from the commercial development of lunar resources and cis-lunar space and so to do both simultaneously. NASA astronauts shouldn’t be sent back to the Moon. They should go on to an asteroid about 2025. But they should get there not via a HLV but with Earth Departure fuel supplied either by fuel depots or from a commercial Lunar Ice To LEO (LITL) program. The funds from the HLV program would go instead towards incentivizing the commercial development of a LITL system.

    Commercial development of lunar resources would initially be paid for by NASA in a COTS/CCDev-like approach (i.e. pay-for-performance). Telerobotics would initially substitute for astronauts on the Moon. When supplies and a habitat are robotically prepared, then humans could return to the Moon but they would be NASA but private individuals such as Bill Stone. They would go using landers smaller than Apollo’s Eagle and they might be taking significant risk. But they would be the first of a permanent lunar base.