Note: Charles Krauthammer has written an excellent article in the Washington Post detailing why we need to place humans back on the Moon. Although Martian fans will not like his analysis of traveling to the red planet (which he estimates is a century away at best), his rationale for visiting the moon can not be easily refuted.
Here is a snippet:
(Washington Post) Moreover, the moon base is not pointless. The shuttles were on an endless trip to the nowhere of low Earth orbit. The moon is a destination. The idea this time is not to go to plant a flag, take a golf shot and leave, but to stay and form a real self-sustaining, extraterrestrial human colony. [...]
A century ago there seemed to be nothing in Antarctica, either. We went there first for adventure, then for discovery. The concrete scientific advances Antarctica has yielded (regarding climate change and the ozone layer, for example) have been as important as they were unexpected. [...]
And then there's the glory. If you find any value, any lift of the spirit in a beautiful mathematical proof, in an elegant balletic turn, in any of the myriad human endeavors that have no utility but only breathtaking beauty, then you should feel something when our little species succeeds in establishing new life in a void that for all eternity had been the province of the gods. If you don't feel that, you are -- don't take this personally -- deaf to the music of our time.
You may want to consider reading the rest of the article, and any space bloggers worth their salt may want to consider reposting their thoughts on their digital cybernetic diaries.
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