Thursday, December 07, 2006

Moonbase Alpha

When I was growing up there was a sci-fi show by Gerry Anderson called "Space 1999." In that show, by the year 1999, there was a well established - and large - scientific outpost on the moon. There were also lots of nice looking young women and very cool spacecraft; so of course I watched it all the time.

Now, over 30 years after the last Apollo astronaut walked on the moon, NASA says that we should go back to the moon and establish a permanent base. And that we should start doing this within about 20 years.


From the time John Kennedy gave his famous speech to Congress about "sending a man to the moon and returning him safely to the earth," it took only nine years to make that first lunar landing. Sure there was the specter of the Soviet Union beating us to the punch hanging over everything we did then that added a little extra incentive to the entire nation. But come on...

Of course this is another BushCo. boondoggle. Lots of speeches and announcements, but nobody's being asked to push for an exciting goal, there haven't been any calls for a national effort or sacrifice to achieve this, and like almost every other potentially good thing this administration has called for, there's no funding.

Above all, again like everything else Bush touches, there's no excitement in this. No real challenge, no truly hard technical hurdles to overcome. And of course there's the knowledge that, ultimately, it just won't happen.

This is not 1961.

This is not 1999.

Above all, Bush is not JFK.


Besides, we all know where the real action is:

MARS, bitches!

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