It’s probably pointless to point it out, but Mark Whittington once again demonstrates his profound inability to comprehend English:
…last April, President Barack Obama was quite specific that the Moon would be excluded from any program of space exploration.
“Now, I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before. Buzz has been there. There’s a lot more of space to explore, and a lot more to learn when we do”
Lori Garver herself pointedly excluded the Moon in a speech before a meeting of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics about her vision for the next fifty years in space.
In Whittingtonworld, not going someplace first is an “exclusion” of it. No one familiar with logic would draw such a conclusion. No one in the administration has said that we are not going back to the moon. All that the new policy does is remove it as the first target (as the Augustine panel suggested last year, for good reason). In fact, that is the only significant difference between the new policy and the original VSE, which was distorted beyond recognition by Mike Griffin’s determination to redo Apollo. As for Lori neglecting to specifically mention the moon in her speech in Anaheim (for which I was present), that was also not a “pointed exclusion.” A “pointed exclusion” would have been something like, “We are going beyond earth orbit, to asteroids and Mars, but not the moon.”
And of course, Mark continues to delude himself that what any president (particularly a likely one termer) states as a goal in space is going to matter a decade later, and doesn’t realize that Americans are no better at ten-year plans than Lenin was.
But as I said, it’s fruitless to expect Mark to get simple things like this right.