Space: The Road To Mars: Why Go Back to the Moon?

Using the moon as a launching pad for Mars, as President Bush suggested last week, may not be the most sensible route to the Red Planet. But that doesn't mean a return to the moon shouldn't be part of a reinvigorated human spaceflight program. There are plenty of reasons to go back to the world we abandoned 30 years ago--some fanciful and futuristic, others quite practical.

At the more practical end, the moon offers unique opportunities for scientific research. Going there is the only way to figure out where the moon came from, for example. Current theory says it was blasted...

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