So, what is your take on the moon/Mars announcment, then?
I don't completely understand the desire to launch a manned mission to Mars program. If our goal is knowledge of the planet, can't we get plenty of new knowledge for much less cost and risk by continuing with the robotic missions?
If our goal is learning more about the rest of space, I don't see how a manned trip to Mars helps that much. Earth and Mars are so ridiculously small compared to the rest of what's out there. It's like walking to other side of your kitchen and saying you learned more about China because you're closer to it.
I do like the fact that the space program is getting some attention. Using the moon to launch deep space missions is a good idea for the long term. Most of the funding for this new plan is really just a shift of money from other parts of NASA. In total, I read it is 1% of the federal budget which seems reasonable to me.
On the other hand, I really do not see why we need to send people to Mars. I would think robotic missions would be able to gather an incredible amount of knowledge themselves.
Anyone have an idea for the next color/decoration scheme here? I'm thinking something around the beginning of March and I'm not doing Shamrocks.