Engineer and stalwart lunar advocate Dennis Wingo has written a new piece on his blog titled “Getting ‘Going Back to the Moon’ Right this Time.” Dennis and I, and many others, have traveled and struggled down this road together – and apart, for years, never putting down the mantel of working to secure a sustainable space economy and future. Dennis recounts some history of previous lunar efforts in his post, a journey I also have taken . We have slightly differing perspectives on this history, but we are in complete agreement that the idea of using the Moon to develop cislunar space is the path that needs to be followed.
I greatly respect Dennis’ efforts and I thank him for the trust he gives me in his post. It reminded me of a piece we wrote together, along with Gordon Woodcock, in 2009 that was published at SpaceRef titled Going Beyond the Status Quo in Space, in which we tried to extend the amazingly far-sighted vision of former Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger, whose 2006 speech was sadly neglected by NASA in implementing the Vision for Space Exploration.
I began this blog to give my own insights on this history – my attempt to prevent us from repeating those things that hurt the program, as well as to advocate for those things that many of us believe will move us forward. Toward that end, Tony Lavoie and I designed a lunar return architecture in 2011 (which we updated last year), focused specifically on the development and use of the resources of the Moon.
Is there new momentum for lunar return? And if so, will we succeed? That remains to be seen. But we know much more about the Moon and its resources than we did prior to those two previous initiatives – information that makes lunar return much more attractive than ever. In fact, I recently wrote a book on this very topic.
An important note: Please check out a recent blog post on “Why the Moon Matters” by Congressman Jim Bridenstine, another candle lit in the space policy darkness.