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About Photography / Hobbyist Official Beta Tester MichaelMale/United States Groups :iconjust-the-details: Just-The-Details
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Scientists Petition Congress For Return To Moon!

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 28, 2013, 9:33 PM

China’s Chang’e 3 robotic landing on the moon has helped spur a political crusade in the United States to more aggressively explore and utilize the moon.

At the heart of the campaign is the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), a group chartered by NASA Headquarters to assist in planning the scientific exploration of the moon.  LEAG is organizing a letter writing campaign to Congress to underscore the importance of the moon.

The LEAG scripted strategy is being orchestrated under the banner “Destination Moon” with a key, straightforward goal highlighted in a flyer: “Use the moon to create a sustained human space-faring capability, advancing exploration of the Solar System.”

The flyer is to be sent, along with a cover letter, to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate committees that have influence on NASA funding, and to all the lawmakers of the LEAG executive committee members.

“We were waiting to see if Chang’e 3 landed successfully and it did! Now we want to champion the moon from the U.S. side,” Clive Neal, a leading lunar scientist at the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences told He is a member of LEAG’s executive committee.

The Destination Moon movement is predicated on the value of exploring the moon, from opening the gateway to the solar system, pioneering development of new technologies, as well as advancing economic expansion, enabling new scientific discoveries and promoting international partnerships.

“The moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration, and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit,” the flyer reads.

iDestination Moon supporters are rallying around other key points:

Lunar resources can be used for fuel and life support for operations in Earth-moon space as well as for voyages to Mars and beyond.

America can still lead the world beyond low Earth orbit by forging collaborations to make the frontier of space accessible to all.

Scientific investigations on the surface of the moon uniquely support studies of early Solar System events that have been erased from Earth’s record.

Stephen Mackwell, director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, advocates a return to the moon.

“The brief Apollo missions were terminated before we could start investigating the requirements for longer term missions away from Earth,” Mackwell told

“Before we set off to distant destinations, like Mars, it makes sense to use our nearest near-Earth object — the moon — as a test-bed to see how humans will cope with longer duration periods distant from Earth, including on the surface of another planetary body, and how effectively we can make use of in-situ resources to sustain our presence elsewhere,” Mackwell said.

Independent of the LEAG letter writing campaign, a U.S. return to the moon is getting a political boost from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).

In a Dec. 19 letter to President Barack Obama, the lawmaker calls on the president to hold a White House conference early in 2014 to develop a mission concept for a U.S.-led return to the moon within the next 10 years. The conference would bring together “the best minds from around the country and among our international partners” to forge the initiative, Wolf said.

“As China prepares to send a series of increasingly advanced rovers to the moon in preparation for what most observers believe will ultimately be human missions, many are asking why the U.S. is not using this opportunity to lead our international partners in an American-led return to the moon,” Wolf said.

Wolf’s letter said that the Obama administration’s “recalcitrance in leading a lunar mission is creating a crisis of confidence in the U.S. space program, both at home but also among our partners, including Europe, Canada, Japan and Russia.”

In his three-page letter, Wolf urges Obama to direct the U.S. space program toward a “lunar-focused human exploration program that will reaffirm America's space leadership for the 21st Century.”

How United States politics and China’s moon landing of Chang’e 3 play together is far from clear, said Mike Gold, director of Wash., D.C. Operations and Business Growth for Bigelow Aerospace, a private space firm eager to kick up its own commercial lunar dust.

“The success of this mission was yet another victory for long-term Chinese aerospace planning, progress, and execution,” Gold said. “Chinese leadership clearly understands the importance and potential benefits of lunar activities and we here at home ignore the moon at our own peril.”

Gold told that it’s not a matter of ifthe moon will be utilized for commercial activities, it’s a matter of when and who will enjoy those benefits.

“The moon represents an unparalleled commercial opportunity, and Congress should be looking for ways to expand commercial space operations beyond low-Earth orbit," Gold said. "I hope Chang’e 3 inspires a renewed effort for commercial lunar development but I’m afraid the lack of reaction in Washington speaks volumes."


Points-4-Llamas Stamp by Points-4-LlamasThe Llama List by TheLlamaList

Steelers Stamp by TheMan268Burnout by TheMan268Apollo 11 by TheMan268I'm Smiling by TheMan268House - Everybody Lies by TheMan268Nip It In The Bud by TheMan268
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CSS by Michael
  • Mood: Winter Downs
  • Listening to: I Am Santa Claus by Bob Rivers
  • Reading: Galactic Courier by A. Bertram Chandler
  • Watching: Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol
  • Playing: With My 3 Cats
  • Drinking: Ice Cold Corona


Artist | Hobbyist | Photography
United States
I enjoy watching Anime, Science Fiction, and Horror at the movies and on TV. I also read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I enjoy going to Science Fiction Conventions and Car Shows. I also enjoy watching Drag Racing in person and on TV. When I have a Muscle Car I sometimes take it to the track and race it myself. I sold my last Muscle Car, a 1988 Monte Carlo SS, and I am currently in the market for another car. B-)
Stamp req. - theman268 by dragondoodle
This cool stamp was made for me by

LilBadge: Cat Lover by aumarra

Lil Badge - Zodiac .:Virgo:. by Kohaku0827

Open Mind Lil Badge by NuciComs

LB-photographer by barefootphotos

Llama Hoarder lil Badge by hallv5

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It's beyond a miracle and that's just what you need.
Beta Tester by BloodAppleKiss

My First Daily Deviation!

The Old Hix School by TheMan268

The Old Hix School


Current Residence: Tennessee, deviantWEAR sizing preference: XXX - Large, Print preference: Motoko Kusanagi by *Nanahra, Favourite genre of music: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Electric Blues, Favourite style of art: Anime, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Operating System: Windows 7, Wallpaper of choice: Changes most everyday, Favourite cartoon character: Bugs Bunny, Cartman, Bender, Personal Quote: I will photograph anything if it will sit still long enough! :D


Nikon D3000, Nikor 55-200mm DX VR Zoom Lens, Nikkor 18-55mm VR Lens, Aspherical 28-80mm D Macro Lens, Sunpak Auto 355AF Thyristor Flash, Sunpak 6200DX Tripod, Kodak Easyshare C913
Nikon D3000 Stamp by CroWelsh


:iconcanona2200: :icongreghodge: :iconfairyfox57: :iconflamster2468: :iconblackbirdredink:

My Bookshelf

Michael's Bookshelf

The Domino PatternGilded Latten Bones: A Garrett, P.I., NovelBefore the Golden Age, Vol. 2: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930'sBefore the Golden Age: A Science Fiction Anthology of the 1930sClose to Critical
Old Man's War

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profile sticker - give a llama get a llama 2 by anelebiscarra

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Add a Comment:
CrystalMarine-Arts Apr 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
You still around? 
Hidden by Owner
thankz fer the faves bo. :)
Can you help me with this:

It'll be a big help
Thank a ton for the +collect!! And soooorry for the loong loong wait >..<
azieser Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the Llama
eBrokenHearted Feb 22, 2014   General Artist
thanks for the llama
CiriusMad Feb 21, 2014  Student Filmographer
thx for the llama :D
KarNYCLoAMR Feb 17, 2014  Professional Artist
Found you in a llama thread. Serendipitous! I LOVE muscle cars! I used to drive a 1972 AMX Javellin before moving to NYC. 
Caveman1a Feb 12, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Can anyone help with this?

It'll be a big help
ztgreen42 Feb 5, 2014  New member
My dad owns that orange 70 Challenger you took a photo of. Great Work! Whats your name?
thewolfcreek Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you my friend for the fav...
thewolfcreek Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the fav my friend...
thanks for the fav
Thank you for faving
blueMALOU Jan 15, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer

Hello!Michael!Sorry Late Reply by Mirz123 


Thank-you for all favs by kmygraphic :iconeufrosis::iconbighugplza::iconbighugplzb::iconeufrosis: Angry fave by Room-404

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Caveman1a Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank You for the favorite! :)
jennystokes Jan 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you for the Fav's Michael.
TheMan268 Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome!  :) (Smile)
Thanks for the llama badge :D (Big Grin) 
TheMan268 Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome and Thanks for the Favs and the Watch!  :)
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