Bill calls for US return to the moon

Posted by Emma Woollacott

A Florida congrssman has introduced a bill calling for a US manned moon mission by 2022.

Bill Posey's bill - H.R. 1641, the Reasserting American Leadership in Space Act - says that a return to the moon would benefit the country through everything from new technologies to improved natinal security.

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall plan to return to the moon by 2022 and develop a sustained human presence on the moon in order to promote exploration, commerce, science and United States preeminence in space as a stepping stone for the future exploration of Mars and other destinations," it reads.

"Space is the world's ultimate high ground; returning to the Moon and reinvigorating our human space flight program is a matter of national security."

The bill's received support from Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, and Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. All represent districts with sdome sort of economic interest in spaceflight, and Wolf chairs the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee on Appropriations, which covers NASA activities.

Nevertheless, the bill will face hurdles so high that spaceflight might just be necessary to leap them. While president Obama's current plans for NASA include funding for a heavy launch vehicle, there are currently no plans to actually, er, send it anywhere in particular. Indeed, Obama has specifically ruled out a return to the moon. But getting the subject back on the table can only be a good thing.