back to article NASA boss insists US returning to the Moon after Peanuts to show for past four decades

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine has strangely compared previous attempts to return to the Moon to an old Peanuts cartoon. The new Administrator yesterday told companies keen to cash in provide lunar payload services that while attempts to return to the Moon over the last 40 years or so may have ended in failure, President Donald …

  1. MyffyW Silver badge

    It was a dark and stormy night...

    It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out! A door slammed. The Russians screamed.

    Suddenly, a Pirate Party candidate appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the POTUS lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.

    A light snow was falling, and the little girl with the tattered shawl had not sold a violet all day.

    At that very moment, a young intern at City Hospital was making an important discovery. The mysterious patient in Room 213 had finally awakened. She moaned softly about the lack of affordable healthcare. Could it be that she was the sister of the boy in Kansas who loved the girl with the tattered shawl who was the daughter of the Russians who had escaped from communism only to embrace a bolder tyrant?

    And so the space race was saved.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It was a dark and stormy night...

      <ominous organ music in the background slowly comes up> Announcer: "But what about Mary Lou?". <Music fades out><screen goes to black><credits roll>

  2. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Yuri Borisov - can you get a more Russian name than that?

    1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      How 'bout Boris Borisov?

      1. Herby Silver badge

        Soviet/Russian names??

        How about Boris Badenov.

        Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat...

    2. tony2heads

      more russian?

      Boris Ivanovich

      Ivan=John; ovich=Son

  3. Scott Pedigo

    This time, said Baron von Harkonnen...

    looking hungrily at the enormous tank -- the size of a small moon -- filled with liquefied tax dollars, you aren't going to pull the plug on me!

  4. LeahroyNake Bronze badge


    NASA moon and Mars planning..

    Pucci Lavish swept in. Or, at least, tried to sweep. But a good sweep needs planning, and probably a rehearsal. You shouldn’t just go for it and hope. All you get is a lot of shoving.

    And for the retired Russian...

    A certain realization dawned on him. ‘Oh,’ he said. YES, said Death. ‘Not even time to finish my cake?’ NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pratchett


      After someone from his reports suggested using USA launch capacity for Russian lunar program(*) - definitely. I am surprised he is not glowing in the dark. The dark bare chested lord would be quite displeased.

      (*)This was in the news earlier today or yesterday.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Pratchett

      "And for the retired Russian...

      A certain realization dawned on him. ‘Oh,’ he said. YES, said Death. ‘Not even time to finish my cake?’ NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE."

      In Russia, you don't eat the cake. The cake eats you!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no money my butt

    If it was as easy to grift tax payer money through no bid contracts with space exploration as it is with bombing brown people we would have went to Mars a decade plus ago. Hell we could probably easily get to Mars for what the LCS program cost and those ships are worthless. Even NASA and their costs overruns could for what the F35 cost.

  6. bombastic bob Silver badge

    classic "schmuck bait"

    really, all of the jerking around and moving targets of the past (with respect to NASA and the moon) were nothing less that "schmuck bait". Question is, who's the "schmuck"? I think it was the voters...

    A lot of talk happened right around the time "Apollo 13" the movie was released. Then it died off. Again.

    The REAL problem is that only GUMMINTS are talking about it. Gummints involve politics, "other people's money", and (too often) voter manipulation.

    It's hard to find a better analogy that doesn't involve a totally cynical look at political leaders, like maybe "The Deacon of the 'Deez" in Waterworld, who gave a speech and showed the tattoo'd back of the kidnapped girl in order to inspire the minions, and got them all rowing ["They'll row for a bleeding month"] even though the Deacon had no clue as to where to go. [IRL example, Jerry "2nd time around" Brown]

    If we stopped spending money on social programs, and bought MOON ROCKETS instead, the rocket makers would hire the people who WERE getting freebies from gummint, and they'd be working to get their money [and would probably have a LOT more of it to spend]. And we'd have MOON ROCKETS to show for it. you get what you pay for.

    So now I need to come up with an analogy for a) manipulating voters into FEELING that gummint giveaway programs are a good idea, b) dangling "back to the moon" to a group of voters to get THEM to vote for you, too, and c) tossing the idea of going back to the moon, CUTTING the NASA budget, and then SPENDING EVEN MORE on worthless "social programs" to buy even MORE votes.

    And Lucy with the football seems close enough for me. "Schmuck bait". And the VOTERS are the 'schmucks'.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: classic "schmuck bait"

      the rocket makers would hire the people who WERE getting freebies from gummint,

      No they will not. At least in the USA. It takes at least a technical college if not an engineering degree to work in a modern industry especially something high tech like rocketry. There is no way in hell someone who needs to scrape off the dole in USA to make the cut and the government will never ever sponsor education so that he does not need to be on the dole.

      This is one of the reasons why all of Trump "initiatives" are bound to fail. You cannot re-create industry without an educated workforce in this day and age. USA is not Germany where you have to put some effort not to end up with a tech college degree and where the likes of BMW, VW, Bosch and Mercedes are in cahoots with the government to get an educated workforce. USA is a country where in order to get the equivalent education you need mom and dad to sponsor the sprog to the tune of around 80k at which point the sprog goes for liberal arts instead of a technical degree. Compared to that in Germany it is free for person (and an awesome payback for the industry which directly or indirectly sponsors that).

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: classic "schmuck bait"

        You can however hire high school graduates ( pref. veterans / oppressed minorities depending on how is in power) to watch Japanese robots assemble German components into robots designed by the children of immigrants from countries where TV game show host isn't the highest achievement

        As long as you get enough tax breaks to cover their minimum wages

  7. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Where's the money?

    To convince me Lucy will not snatch the ball away again, the first thing Bridenstine needs to do is point at some budget allocated to landing stuff on the moon.

    1. MrReal

      Re: Where's the money?

      The amount of money Project Orion has swallowed over the past 18 years was well in excess if the money required to return to the moon if Apollo was real.

      18 years later project Orion is still afraid of the Van Allen belt and has just figured how to pack a parachute in their bizarre Apollo-lookalike conical craft - and has YET to even put a man into Low Earth Orbit.

      The Apollo story may have fooled enough people at the time but today it only fools the naive and gullible while making manned space research very difficult. Look at what NASA have built: A manned space rover that looks like an egg with no idea how to get it to the moon.

  8. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    Peanuts metaphor

    Maybe it's simply a Yank vs Brit pop culture thing. There may indeed be a better metaphor out there than the Peanuts reference but many (and probably most) of us left ponders thoroughly understand that one and consider it appropriate for this subject.

    Key to understanding its relevance here is that Lucy does this every year and Charlie Brown falls for it every time - much in the same way that NASA and/or the President say "we're going back to the moon!" and people get excited but, then it never goes beyond that comment. Unlike Charlie Brown, most of us USAians have all but given up on NASA doing anything significant on the moon and, given the timelines and technology and costs involved, remain VERY skeptical of a manned Mars mission any time soon.

    1. Jim Mitchell

      Re: Peanuts metaphor

      Can the right-ponders even get over the concept that somebody needs to hold the "football" in order for it to be kicked?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peanuts metaphor

        > "...somebody needs to hold the "football" in order for it to be kicked?"

        Not entirely true. I could never understand why Charlie Brown didn't just get himself a football tee and dispense with Lucy's assistance.

        BTW, there's a theory out there that Charles Schultz modeled Lucy on his own loud-mouth, domineering wife. Sure would explain a lot...

  9. arctic_haze Silver badge

    NASA returning to the Moon? Again?

    Haven't they just cancelled a Lunar rover?

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: NASA returning to the Moon? Again?

      Enough with the Moon Rovers and Mars Rovers. I really don't see the fascination with taking dogs to other planets...

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: NASA returning to the Moon? Again?

        Do you want Space Cats? Would Space Cats make you happy?

        1. annodomini2

          Re: NASA returning to the Moon? Again?

          Cats might work, they are typically lighter and tend to land on their feet.

          Don't take so well to issued orders though.

        2. Jtom Bronze badge

          Re: NASA returning to the Moon? Again?

          Yes! Space cats, but more specifically, female space cats. We must have space catettes!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: NASA returning to the Moon? Again?

          "Do you want Space Cats? Would Space Cats make you happy?"

          No cats. Pigs in space?

  10. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

    PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

    if for no other reason, Go back to the moon and forcibly take a flatard moon landing denier with them...

    then bury the fucker up to his neck on the moon facing Earth, with a massive oxygen supply, and intravenous glucose to keep them alive... and an open com link so that everyone who has argued with the retarded twats that are moon hoaxers and flat erthers can ask them what shape is the Earth!!

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

      Wouldn't work... The rest would just decide that he was:

      A -- Hypnotized;

      B -- Drugged, or;

      C -- A paid shill

      ...who's actually broadcasting from a secret NASA facility deep in Area 51.

      1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

        Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

        I am sure with the combined brain power of the El Reg readers we can come up with some plan to put a flattard on the moon (money no object of course) that they could not argue with,,,,

        1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

          The B Ark...

          1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

            Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

            A B Ark should be made just as a matter of course..... but lets not forget past mistakes made by others and keep the telephone sanitisers.....

            who would you put top of the list for a free passage on the B ark?

          2. mosw

            Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

            "The B Ark..."

            I think your B Ark maybe bigger then your B ite.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

          "that they could not argue with"

          never underestimate the ability of a flattard (or warmist, or Win-10-nic fanboi, or socialist, etc.) to argue in the face of reality.

          icon: obvious

    2. MrReal

      Re: PLEEESE go back, just for our sanity.....

      A flatard?

      No sceptic of the Apollo moon landings thinks the earth is flat, the flat earth movement is a NASA device to destroy discussions about the Apollo landings, nothing more.

      The real problem sceptics have is the amazing time scales, the incredible luck of everything working, the immunity to radiation, the dud SaturnV being so great but dumped straight after, the dodgy photos without bracketing exposure, out of focus shots, the invisible stars, the bizarre LRV behaving like it was on earth and their inability to jump, the re-used backdrops and the weird early 'pool of light' photos.

      Then there's NASA, 'losing' the telemetry tapes and failing to make simple uncut videos and films of Apollo launches and docking available on their website.

      Then there are the astronauts, the Apollo 11 crew sullen and miserable at the press conference, resigning soon after and living in obscurity.

      The naive are free to believe in these fantastical stories from NASA, but don't insult the majority who doesn't believe everything their government tells them, especially after the Iraq and Syria lies.

  11. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Dmitry Rogozin

    I wonder if he was one of the Russians to laugh at Elon Musk when he went there to buy some old ICBMS...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dmitry Rogozin

      Frozen shit!? (Icy BMs -- ICBMS, geddit?)

  12. doug_bostrom

    The usual inversion as practiced by agents of Agent Orange: first move was to cancel almost-ready rover which would have been useful for locating resources for visitors.

    The rover was not football-shaped but was certainly yanked away at the last minute.

  13. redpawn Silver badge

    We all know that

    NASA keeps a base on the moon already to test crashed UFOs from the 50's. They are just pretending to want a public program some time in the future. Got to get my super charged beer from under my chrome plated pyramid now.

  14. MajorDoubt

    Moon base Alpha

    If we can't build a base on the moon (which is a lot closer if something goes wrong, like dealing with the enormous amounts a radiation outside the earths magnetic field), we have no hope of building a base on Mars. Since both need a spacesuit to survive.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Moon base Alpha

      As a bonus, when the moonbase has been built, we can store tonnes of nuclear waste next to it.

      What could possibly go wrong?

    2. Brangdon

      Re: Moon base Alpha

      It's easier to live on Mars for many reason. It has an atmosphere, which reduces radiation and micro-meteors, and helps slow down on arrival (so it costs less delta-v than the Moon), and which is a source of CO2 for making rocket fuel for departure. Its day/night cycle is close to 24 hours rather than 28 days, which is better for plant growth, and means you don't need so many batteries to store solar power, and which reduces the temperature extremes. Mars gravity is closer to Earth's. It has plenty of water readily available (which has yet to be proven on the Moon).

      The only advantage of the Moon is that it's closer. Admittedly that's a big advantage. In every other way Mars is better.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They forgot to record if it were cheese or not

    DOH! now we have to go and check again.

  16. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    "may have failed"?

    Seriously? That's beyond high class understatement. Asking whether NASA has performed well in manned space flight lately is like asking Mrs. Lincoln whether the president enjoyed the play at Ford's Theater...

    1. Alphebatical

      Re: "may have failed"?

      Well, he finally got to meet his favorite actor.

  17. Alan1kiwi


    I wonder what this button does ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NASA

      "I wonder what this button does ?"

      He reached out and pressed an invitingly large red button on a nearby panel. The panel lit up with the words Please do not press this button again.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: NASA

        fine print: press twice to activate self-destruct.

  18. Matthew 17

    They should just build the things that sit on top of hired launchers

    Going back to the Moon is important, there's a lot there, none of it is alive but it's rich in everything else.

    They keep sending things to trundle around Mars despite establishing over and over that it is dead, has always been dead and was never a warm sunny place. Let it go, it's no more interesting than the Moon.

    You could build a moon base, build ships to fly to Mars from there.

    Explore the Moons of Jupiter where there may actually be something alive.

    1% GDP buys you a lot of cool science don't spend it all and then some building launchers when someone is happy to do that for you

  19. aregross

    "Space" by James A. Michener tells you all you need to know about how to get there and why we won't.

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