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NASA to put humans on the Moon (again) by 2018

09/15/2005 8:55 AM

NASA rolled out its detailed lunar plan to the White House yesterday. The plan, called the Exploration Systems Architecture Study, is to spend $100 billion (USD) over the next 12 years to design and build spacecraft to take astronauts back to the surface of the Moon by 2018. The plan will go before Congress on Friday.

From Space.com: " NASA's plan envisions being able to land four-person human crews anywhere on the Moon's surface and to eventually use the system to transport crew members to and from a lunar outpost that it would consider building on the lunar south pole, according to the charts, because of the regions elevated quantities of hydrogen and possibly water ice...One of NASA's reasons for going back to the Moon is to demonstrate that astronauts can essentially "live off the land" by using lunar resources to produce potable water, fuel and other valuable commodities.."

So, this begs the question, "Is is worth $100 billion dollars to go back to the Moon?" Even so, to me, $100 billion seems like a lowball figure.

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Guru
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#1

Cost

09/15/2005 9:39 AM

I love the space program, but this mission is not worth the cost. Hurricane Katrina has changed the fiscal landscape for years to come.

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Power-User

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#2

NASA On the Moon

09/15/2005 1:28 PM

Hmmm. I've got 300 billion dollars. Do I want a war to take over a pesky Middle Eastern country or 3 space programs to the moon... seems like a no-brainer. What? Oh, never mind.

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The Engineer
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#3

Sometimes Science Needs a Goal

09/15/2005 2:23 PM

Science has of way of kind of wandering around if you don't give it a goal. Unfortunately, most of the time, war is the event that gives science a focus. So in that light, a trip to the moon doesn't seem that bad. Though I agree that 100 billion seems cheap, unless we're talking 1969 dollars.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re:Sometimes Science Needs a Goal

09/15/2005 2:32 PM

Keep in mind, we went to the Moon during the height of the Viet Nam war.

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