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December 11, 2006

A permanent presence on the moon?

The recent announcement that NASA would like to establish a permanent base on the surface of the moon is exciting news, not least because it is one of the first steps to the stars. A permanent base there would be the staging post for longer voyages of discovery and, as the lunar gravity is about a sixth that of the earth, it would also be much easier to launch a whole range of probes and even manned exploration ships from there than it is from the earth.

Truth is often stranger than fiction and Asimov, Heinlien and Clarke, the greats of the Sci-fi genre, have long postulated having a base there. Once that is established, voyages to Mars and the moons of Jupiter become much more manageable. What I do find interesting is that NASA's proposed station sounds remarkablky like something Asimov described in the 60's. Hardly surprising really since he was a scientist himself. I look forward to the establishment of this station, I just hope I am around to see its being built. Let's hope too that our politicians can keep their fingers out of it and that the scientists can keep the accountants from cheeseparing the budgets for it to nothing.

It seems to me that the three things most likely to wreck this project are, in order; accountants, bureaucrats and politicians. And the greatest threat is probably the accountants!

Posted by The Gray Monk at December 11, 2006 05:08 PM

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