One of the University of Iowa’s top researchers for deep space missions applauds reports that say President Bush will announce a renewed moon mission later this month. In addition to helping develop robotic spacecraft that went to Mars, Dr. Don Gurnett has worked on more than two dozen major space exploration projects, including Voyager 1 to Neptune and Uranus, Galileo to Jupiter and Cassini to Saturn. Dr. Gurnett, a U-of-I professor of physics and astronomy, says the moon is a much more realistic goal than trying to send people to someplace like the red planet. Dr. Gurnett says Mars is “not in the cards” in even the next 20 years, so the moon is an obvious and logical objective. Reports say President Bush will call for a renewed moon mission during ceremonies December 17th marking the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first flight. The first President Bush made a similar speech on July 20, 1989, on the 20th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon landing. That Bush suggested building a moon base to use as a launch point for a manned mission to Mars. Man has not walked on the moon since December, 1972. Only 12 men have walked on the moon — all 12 were Americans.
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