Space may be the final frontier, but at the moment, nobody’s terribly interested in exploring it, except maybe the Chinese.
Some background: when Obama got into office, he did what any President does, audit all the departments he’s suddenly in charge of and see what’s going on. He discovered that NASA had been ordered to go to Mars mostly because it meant some fat contracts to a few key congressional districts: NASA didn’t have the budget to do that. So Obama changed their priorities to, well, about the vaguest thing possible.
So some bored Congressmen are trying to change that by ordering NASA to build a moon base.
It’s less exciting that it sounds: most bills filed in Congress are not designed to actually pass. You might remember the House recently passed a bill they retardedly called “Repealing the Job-Killing Healthcare Death Panels Act”, which…immediately was killed by the Senate. Everybody involved knew it was going to happen: they did it because they want to be able to say to the people they elected that they tried to repeal the law but it’s all Obama’s fault.
So it is with this: the bill is being introduced by Congresspeople who have something to gain by NASA having an actual mission, but they know funding NASA is impossible. So the bill is deliberately vague and buck-passing, and probably won’t see the Senate.
Which is good, since it distracts from what NASA’s real job should be: building robots that break dance.
[ via the moon river dancers at Ars Technica ]