Obama on the Moon: “been there” (done that)
The moon is old news as far as President Barack Obama is concerned.
Landing humans on asteroids and Mars and eventually living indefinitely in space is the future for the American people of Earth.
That’s the vision of the president who was born in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy declared that the United States would send a man to the Moon.
But that was then.
“Now, I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned,” Obama said at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before.”
So, next stop asteroids.
Which begs the question — do we really want to be landing on those things? They seem like the space version of bumper cars, whirling around and colliding with anything in their paths. What about all those movies of asteroids crashing into the Earth?
My colleague who knows about such things assures me there has been a long-standing interest in landing on asteroids for scientific study.
What do you think of Obama’s new policy? Is it the Right Stuff? Or is it Lost in Space?
“Fifty years after the creation of NASA, our goal is no longer just a destination to reach,” Obama said.
“Our goal is the capacity for people to work and learn and operate and live safely beyond the Earth for extended periods of time, ultimately in ways that are more sustainable and even indefinite.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (a full moon over Virginia in February), Reuters/Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency handout (A 548-meter long asteroid is seen nearly 186 million miles from Earth in 2005), Reuters/Jim Young (Obama at Cape Canaveral)