To the moon, Alice! To ... the ... moon!*
It seems that a Gingrich presidency was never the only pathway into space. All along, sneaky old Barack Obama has been hiding a secret plan to send manned missions to the Moon. Now that he's been re-elected, the rockets should start flying soon.**
According to Space.com, the President has asked NASA to prepare plans for exploration of "the expansive space around the Earth-Moon system." This seems to mean parking a manned craft at the Lagrange point, visiting the Moon and then a near-earth asteroid -- all to get ready for the push to Mars.
Sadly, the timeline for this is a little longer than we might wish. Think parking at L2 in 2015 or beyond, Mars in the 2030s. Still, if they're looking for a geriatric chaplain ....
The best part of the story, though, is that these plans really were kept more-or-less secret during the campaign. Apparently, the Republican candidate might have argued that this was a big government program. Which it is -- the kind we like.
*For the record, we can't watch the Honeymooners anymore, just because of this repeated threat of spousal violence. How infected are we by the dread virus of liberal angst?
** Sorry, Pakistan. We didn't mean those rockets. Sore subject, right?