Op/Ed: Move Aside, NASA The Cato Institute

One reaction to President Bush’s plan for a permanent moon base and a trip to Mars is, “Great! It’s about time NASA stopped going around in circles in low Earth orbit and returns to real science and exploration.” Unfortunately, there’s not a snowball’s chance in the sun that the same agency that currently is constructing a downsized version of its originally planned space station, decades behind schedule, at 10 times its original budget, a few hundred miles up in orbit, will be able to build a station several hundred thousand miles away on the moon. If Americans are again to walk on the moon and make their way to Mars, NASA will actually need to be downsized and the private sector allowed to lead the way to the next frontier.