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Moon Society Submits Response to Bush Moon/Mars Committee
Plano, TX, March 5, 2004 -- The Moon Society submitted position papers today concerning the implementation of the President's new space vision and the role that the moon plays in that vision to the Aldridge Commission. The Society stressed the importance of clarity about just why humans should return to the Moon, and how it should be done in a sustainable way.
As the commission emphasizes, it is that sustainability that is the most important factor in the long term success of the President's vision. If a return to the Moon is to provide the fullest possible support for a Mars exploration venture, the Moon's resources must be developed in a way that defrays lunar operations costs by providing an ever-growing portion of the needs of base personnel, by developing exports to minimize net costs of imports, and by manufacturing items needed to support the Mars missions.
The Society also reiterates its established position that private enterprise be as heavily involved as possible, both in direct support of governmental projects and in indirect ways, at private initiative, to develop lunar resources for profit. These profit motivated initiatives may include providing abundant clean energy for Earth's power needs, supporting tourism to and on the Moon, and providing spacecraft refueling services for the satellite industry. Such efforts will minimize the costs of government funded projects by creating consumer driven economies of scale.
The Society also submitted a proposal for the role that lunar observatories and other resources could play in either the recovery of the Hubble Space Telescope or in the development of follow on observatories. The lunar surface offers a much cleaner environment than low earth orbit: lunar orbital mechanics keeps the area clear of dust and debris, the lunar surface is seismically quiet, and the lunar far-side provides one of the best locations for radio astronomy.
The submissions, plus other Moon Society publications, can be found at http://www.moonsociety.org.
About The Moon Society
The Moon Society is a non-profit educational and scientific foundation formed to further scientific study and development of the moon. It was formed in July, 2000 by the members of the Artemis Society International as a way of broadening the range of efforts to include everything related to the moon and its development. Additional news and information about the organization is available at http://www.moonsociety.org/.
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