NASA has announced plans to put astronauts on the moon by 2018, and eventually use the moon as a way station for visiting other planets?especially Mars. Are we returning to the moon to secure the fantastically valuable Helium 3 fuel that is lying on the surface? Helium 3 is undoubtedly the reason that China is determined to go to the moon.
Leonard David writes in space.com reports that The New York Times has criticized the project as lacking “the pizzazz to inspire public support” and says it will be “operating under budget constraints that make delays or overruns likely.” The cost is estimated to be around $104 billion. Sherwood Boehlert (R, NY) says there is “no credible way” to accomplish this task unless the NASA is given a bigger budget than it has been promised.