After reading a story about Mike Griffin and the Moon Base plan, I came across this interesting comment:
And [the VSE] gives the space agency a mission without an end date when the budget axes start coming out, he said.
Hmm. I think that is where we have a problem. President Bush didn't give NASA a new mission to perform along with all the other "missions" they have been doing since Apollo ended. He gave them a new charter. A new direction, if you will, that should change how everything else is viewed.
The Vision for Space Exploration does not say "Go to the Moon while you are at it," but rather "Go to the Moon, Mars, and put humanity in the solar system. Drop everything that doesn't help this goal." At least that is the speech I heard.
Treating this as a single mission that can be cut and moved and dropped if necessary is an injustice to our future. It isn't about which date we get there and what check boxes were fill out, it is about getting America off this rock. It isn't a 30 year plan, or a 60 year plan, but a new direction for our society.
And it isn't just about NASA. I think President Bush was calling our country to a new direction. Burt Rutan, and Elon Musk, and you and I need to look forward at what we can achieve. Where can we be in 20 years, 60 years, and 100 years from now. Think about it.
My $0.02 Worth what you paid for it.