Op/Ed: Jefferson The Space Review

In the spring of 1804, a hardy band of explorers left St. Louis and pushed their boats northwest, up the Missouri River. They were grandly called the Corps of Discovery, and were commanded by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. It was the beginning of one of the most extraordinary adventures in American history, the brainchild of one of its most extraordinary men, President Thomas Jefferson. The expedition would return more than two years later, bringing with them news of dazzling discoveries and vast information about the mysterious lands of the American West. In the subsequent century, Americans would trek west in vast numbers, to start new lives in a new land, their way having been paved by Lewis and Clark. Two centuries after the launch of the expedition, another president, vastly different in temperament and personality from the Sage of Monticello, announced another bold plan of exploration and discovery. Like the Lewis and Clark Expedition, it promises to be fraught with difficulties and dangers, but also holds the potential for vast new knowledge and perhaps even for future colonization of new and astonishing lands.