It's difficult to judge which is more annoying, or disturbing. The unabashed cheerleading from someone who hasn't apparently experienced a program shutdown (and thinks the United Nation's will somehow help) or the cynical and smarmy 60 Minutes crew. (Pssst. Leslie. 1970 just called... they want their news of record back...)
Sunday night 60 Minutes ran an 11-minute piece on NASA's new Constellation program to return men to the moon — and send women for the first time — and how those missions will help prepare for eventual trips to Mars. (O.K., 60 Minutes didn't talk about sending the first women to the moon but it is true.)
Though we won't see Americans returning to the moon till at least 2020, the program said that new "space suits are being tested, rockets are being fired, and capsules are being designed."Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, said that NASA is returning to the "romance of space." Extra points to Gene for bringing love and emotion to space exploration.The new Ares rocket won't be ready till 2015. Without both the Ares I (for crew) and the larger Ares V (for cargo), America does not have the rocket power to go back to the moon. Why? Because the mighty Saturn V (think circa-1985 MTV interstitial) was mothballed during the Nixon administration. NASA administrator Michael Griffin said, "That has to rank as one of the colossal mistakes in history." He also said something that was music to my ears: "Americans are bored by the space program, because NASA has run a boring space program."