Britain could become involved in NASA's plans to send astronauts back to the Moon by 2020, says Britain's new minister for science and innovation, Malcolm Wicks, after discussions in London with NASA administrator Dr Michael Griffin.
Story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6196310.stm.
Many will applaud this news as showing the vision that Britain needs to get the Union Jack back in space, and maybe even a British astronaut walking on the Moon.
Others will see it as a slap in the face for Britain's long-suffering spaceplane engineers -- a diversion of scarce resources away from sustainable development to a costly prestige project which risks cancellation with every change of US president and every terrorist attack on the West.
Perhaps the coolest heads will try to balance pioneering exploration of the Moon and Mars with the urgent needs for economic access to low Earth orbit and the near-Earth asteroids, and for the breaking of the government monopoly on manned space travel.
Let the debate continue!
Don't forget: the closing date for Arthur nominations is midnight on 31 December 2006.
Full details on: http://clarkeawards.org/.
The 2007 Sir Arthur Clarke Awards will be presented at the ninth annual BROHP conference in April.
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