Is NASA Missing the Point of the VSE?

Return to the Moon: Outpost or sorties? By Dr. Paul D. Spudis.

In the question and answer period, he made a rather startling statement to the effect NASA was still trying to understand what “lunar return” means – that an outpost would be “expensive” and that lunar return might instead entail a series of smaller scale sortie missions, similar to the later Apollo expeditions of the early 1970’s. He added that people should remember that the “original purpose” of the VSE was to prepare to go to Mars and other destinations.

I found this exchange fascinating because it suggests that NASA, as an executing entity, still doesn’t fully understand the nature of their mission to the Moon and to the extent that it is understood, they have transformed it into something very different from what the VSE actually said and what was intended.

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