questionsscience aside, why should we go back to the moon?

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Two words: Manifest Destiny

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We shouldn't. We should go to Mars and asteroids and out into the further reaches of space. But we should stop on Moon because it makes for a good, relatively easy to reach base from which to launch some of those other expeditions. And we should plan on putting a permanent base there. Mostly for science; what we'll learn, the technologies we'll have to develop to do that but also to inspire future generations to continue to learn and explore and do things that are hard and dangerous and advance our species.
Plus space ships are cool!

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been there, done that. Mercury or bust!

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Low gravity copulation, with senic views of the Earth.

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They say the moon has a lot of helium, and we're using ours up at an unsustainable rate.

So oing back to mine helium might be a reasonable goal in the next few decades.

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Before this turns into a commentary regarding how money should instead be spent on "bigger, earthbound problems," I'd like to point out most go-to-the-moon projects right now are entirely private. If people want to pay to go there, and develop useful technologies that could have other applications in the process, more power to them.

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To make a mark on it that's visible from earth to shut up the conspiracy theorists.

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How dumb do we have to be to delude ourselves into thinking that a planet-wide catastrophe is impossible. We're just making sure we go the way of the dinosaurs.

Sure, a comet hit is possible on the moon too and given the surface are relatively common, but something about eggs and one basket applies here.

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Because I really want to go there. Or for my kids to go there. Whichever. I also agree with earlier comments about a moon base being a necessary step for future exploration and/or source for raw materials.

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I have a buddy of mine who works for http://www.planetaryresources.com/ . They are working on doing robotic mining in space and creating a fuel station.