After a couple months of speculation, it’s unofficially official:
President Bush will announce plans next week to send Americans to Mars and establish a permanent human presence on the moon, senior administration officials said Thursday night.
Bush won’t propose sending Americans to Mars anytime soon; rather, he envisions preparing for the mission more than a decade from now, one official said.
In addition to proposing the first trip to the moon since December 1972, the president wants to build a permanent space station there.
To be honest, sending men to Mars is a prestige project. Oh, we’ll get lots of benefits from it here on Earth, just like we did with Apollo. But until we go there to stay — no time soon — we’ll be going mostly for the sake of going (and then getting safely home).
But a permanent lunar colony? That’s another, even better story.
And I can’t wait to read it.