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Hi all,

Something that has been bugging me of late, just haven't had time to devote the keystrokes to...

NASA has announced it intends to visit the moon again. I'm sure when Kennedy announced that within the next decade the U.S. will send a man to the moon and back again, the world hung on his every word and dreamed of the day. My auntie Joyce dutifully sat me down in front of the TV that hot summer day in 1969 to watch the landing. I remember it not, being just 5 at the time [and looking every bit of my avatar no less].

But here we are, it's 2005, the moon hasn't been touched since, what, 1973? And did anyone gives a rat's ass on the fifth, sixth, eigtheenth? time they landed? Don't think so.

So what now? Should we all get incredibly excited at the thought of spending $200 billion [same as Iraq to date, same as estimate on Katrina damage to date] to go to the moon - for what? I realize it's U.S. money, but when they screw themselves in Iraq with this level of spending it takes the entire world economy down the crapper. Look at the Canadian dollar in comparison to the U.S. - highest level since the early Nineties?

Seriously, I'd like to know what the world has to gain from going there.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for space exploration, the space stations, satellite technology, etc. But the moon? What purpose does that serve? We have a fairly good understanding of what it would entail to build on the moon and survive. And they're even talking Mars. What a complete and utter waste of time. Maybe in another 100 years when we've developed ways to travel into space more efficiently - get the space station actually working, habitable, USABLE! Maybe then, and only then, should be consider venturing further.

Wouldn't it really just make sense for the world to spend it's time and effort to make everyone's life just a little better down here on earth?

I'm not expecting the U.S. to hand out their money to other countries. I think they need to fix a lot of internal problems first, some of their own backyards are third-world level, almost inhospitable places, and its because the U.S. government just does not give a **** about its own people. Once they start caring, the entire global humanity can improve from that.

Maybe something good can come from Katrina. Having "wiped the slate clean" there is a new start for a city that had one block of tourism right next to a block you wouldn't get caught [dead] walking in late at night. Spending the money here to regenerate an area and give people jobs and decent housing - certainly most of us would not have wanted to live in any of that housing that got destroyed.

So, f&*k the moon, we have far better things to do right here on our own little marble thank you very much.
 

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Canadian By Choice
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Andy, I wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger, and watched with awe the first landing on the moon (I was 20 at the time). Still, I think of all of the children who could be fed with that money, or the homeless that might be housed, or the sick given proper healthcare. Sadly, while I still view space travel in awe, I don't want to see that money spent on going to the moon again. I certainly do NOT want money spent of war, and yet, that is the situation we are all in just now. Granted, we here in Canada are not making this decision, but we shall be effected if the elephant drops dead of a heart attack brought on by a deficit that is so vast as to drive up interest rates beyond what an average person might assume..............and then the onset of recession or depression.
 

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When I saw the announcement about re-visiting the moon, I immediately thought it was just another way to siphon taxpayers' money to Republican business cronies.

Think billions of dollars in space technology - Think "Haliburton" .
 

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Canadian By Choice
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SoyMac, I am shocked. To think that the Republicans would use a revisitation to the moon to help out various companies that support the Republicans, is shocking. Would they do this with the war in Iraq? Would they do this with the reconstruction of the gulf coast? Would they do anything that might sully the good name of the Republican party, the party of Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge and Eisenhower????? For shame on you for thinking such things.

Of course, it was Coolidge that said, "The business of America is business". Still, when George Bush nominates a liberal-minded woman of color to the Supreme Court, and Haliburton donates $1 billion to the feeding of hungry children in America, you shall owe the Republican party an apology. Until that time, I say unto you, "Right on, brother!!!"

Paix, mon ami.
 

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It's more likely an issue of announcing big plans (like the manned Mars mission earlier) far enough in the future that someone else (preferably a Democrat) gets to be known as the president who ended manned space exploration--thereby establishing W as a "visionary" leader when he's really anything but.
 

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DR. EVIL
Gentlemen, phase three. We place a giant laser on the moon. Let me demonstrate.
(beat)
Where's my laser?

Dr. Evil looks around and sees Mini-Me gnawing on the model laser. Dr. Evil takes it from his mouth

DR. EVIL
Mini-Me, don't chew my laser.
(to room)
Not feeling well. He has an ear infection, but it's OK.
(pause)
No? Nothing?
(back to model)
Anyway, the laser is powerful enough to destroy every city on the planet at will. We'll turn the moon into what I like to call a "Death Star".

Scott SNICKERS.

DR. EVIL
What?

SCOTT
(snickering again)
Nothing Darth.

DR. EVIL
What did you call me?

SCOTT
Nothing.
(pretends to sneeze)
Rip-off!

DR. EVIL
(unsure)
Bless you? Anyways, since my "death star" laser was invented by the noted Cambridge physicist, Dr. Parsons. I thought we'd name it in his honor -- the Alan Parsons Project.
 

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Canadian By Choice
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I'm in two minds...... If the US directs its energy and resources at the moon, its less likely to blow a trillion or two of those resources on smaller high velocity projectiles in foreign lands. However, I can think of at least one trillion things to do with the money that would more directly benefit mankind. The initial moonshot had many benefits as it came at a time when materials science and electronics was at a fledging stage. As a consequence, the investment literally rocketed forward the advances in these areas. A moonshot today, however, would not have anywhere near as great an impact - other than potentially providing a rallying point for Americans to reassure them of their technological prowess. When Kennedy announced the moonshot in 1961(?), it was truly based on a dream since the technology to accomplish the feat was not even on the drawing board and materials had to be discovered. Today, one can precisely calculate what is required. It's like building a huge bridge or tunnel.

If only the US took at look at its navel and realized how fragile the country is in many respects. It has enormous potential, but chooses to allow a massive fraction of the population to live in poverty. New Orleans will happen again even though it is eminently avoidable.

The next big "shot" should be in allowing every American to walk tall, not for a miniscule few to walk on the moon.
 

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I think it would be worthwhile to continue exploration to the moon and to Mars, if not for the reasons in this article http://www.space.com/news/moon_top10_031208-1.html then for the reason of finding another place to live and expanding our horizons. While I agree we should find better, greener ways of living on Earth, we are obviously causing climatic changes faster than we predicted and it seems no-one is listening. A moonbase would also give us an early alert system and a way of viewing into space further. Now with the current problems the US is having I can see delaying the schedule, but you don't want to have continous delays as well, or your not getting to far. For example someone said, in a 100 years we can worry about space exploration. Well, then you had better start planning now and making the steps you can, as time flies and delays happen and soon it will be 50 years later and we'll be saying in another 100 years.
 
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