back to article VP Mike Pence: I want Americans back on the Moon by 2024 (or before the Chinese get there)

President Donald Trump wants NASA astronauts to return to the Moon by 2024 “by any means necessary,” Vice President Mike Pence thundered on Tuesday. Brave Pence announced the plan at a National Space Council Meeting held at Huntsville, Alabama, and said the White House administration wants the US space agency to take charge of …

  1. shaolin cookie

    Lead the way

    I think Pence should lead the way and head to the Moon himself, and take Trump along with him. One way. With that pair inhabiting the Moon, it may well be that no-one else, including the Chinese, wants to go there anymore.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Lead the way

      The problem is we need to add to the list and sort out who goes first. It's going to be a loooonnnnggg list.

    2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: Lead the way

      Just tell Pence that the Lord will take care of his air and leave the air scrubbers at home.

      Pence is Trump's insurance against anyone foolish enough to want to assasinate him.

      Anyone who want do that will make things only much, much worse.

      Trump may be an idiot, but he's not a fool.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Lead the way

        Pence is Trump's insurance against anyone foolish enough to want to assassinate him.

        OH, How right you are! I have to believe this was a conscious decision too!

      2. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Lead the way

        Trump may be an idiot, but he's not a fool.

        That you don't like his politics is obvious, however, you're going to struggle to find a way to make the idiot label stick.

        The man is a billionaire, and won the Whitehouse as his first political endeavour. That, no matter how you slice it, is not the work of an idiot. I'm not sure what foundations his genius claims are built upon, but definitely, he's neither an idiot nor a fool.

        Before people start harping on about Trumps personal financial losses, they should first take a moment to understand why making losses can be the best way to make a profit - losses are not only tax free, they are tax deductible. Losses form part of every large corporations finanacial tax planning. That doesn't mean a different legal entity isn't making a commensurate profit somewhere less heavily taxed.

        The same divisions that have seen the Democrats try to manufacture an impeachment because they simply can't accept the result of the democratic vote is the same problem giving rise to the constitutional crisis over Brexit in the UK. If you can't accept losing then you don't want democracy.

        Democracy is too important to allow it to be hijacked by the aggreived losers, no matter how much butt-hurt they feel. That applies no matter which colour rosette the empowered scumbags in office are wearing. I'd far rather have a Jeremey Corbyn government than a Teresa May dictatorship, and I'd far rather have a Teresa May government than a Jermey Corbyn dictatorship. Accept your losses people, its part of the system and a requirement of being a grown up.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Lead the way

          "Trump may be an idiot, but he's not a fool.

          That you don't like his politics is obvious, however, you're going to struggle to find a way to make the idiot label stick..."

          I guess the more accurate way to put it is that the guy isn't an idiot, but he is a nutter. OK, technically more of a sociopath but clearly his mind works differently from most other people's. What really amazes me is that in his stated policy goals he has either failed to deliver completely, or massively underperformed, and his approval ratings are still relatively high.

          - said he's reduce deficit but massively increased it

          - said he's build a wall and Mexico would pay for it, 0 for 2

          - tax cuts were supposed to boost economy by 5% plus, even his own team now say 3% and NAO says less. That's just short term, NAD taking on unsustainable debt

          - said he's reduce immigration, which is now at decades-old high

          etc

          For his supporters it's all about the cult and his twitterings, results don't matter.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Lead the way

            I guess the more accurate way to put it is that the guy isn't an idiot, but he is a nutter. OK, technically more of a sociopath but clearly his mind works differently from most other people's.

            The vast majority of people in politics or business are sociopaths. I'm curious why that still seems news to some folk.

            What really amazes me is that in his stated policy goals he has either failed to deliver completely, or massively underperformed, and his approval ratings are still relatively high.

            I'd imagine it's a lot of those people in fly over states that were most recently visited by JFK, in teerms of presidential offerings. Ignore people long enough and they'll eventually send you a message.

            Quite what amazes me is that neither party seems to have picked up on it yet. The democrats learned what from their hugely embarrassing defeat? The Republicans have learned what from trumps campaign? In a word, they've each learned nothing.

            I genuinely can't see a change of President in 2020 unless and until the main players show a little humility and listen. Warren wants to sequester wealth - that'll just drive it abroad. The Clintons are now lining their kid up for a run in the not too distant future. And what of the Republicans - have any senators got off their asses and gone to see how normal people are living their lives? Has anything been done about the opiod epidemic? Has it f...

            The democrats simply don't seem relevant anymore, and were it not for the Pres, the Republicans wouldn't seem to be either.

            I'm afraid to say that it isn't Trump that worries me - its whoever follows his play book next, because in all likelihood it'll work again and for the same reasons. We don't have the luxury of assuming the next one will be less of an asshole (and yes, I do think he's an asshole). My betting is that the candidates only get more extreme....

          2. BGatez Bronze badge

            Re: Lead the way

            As a matter of fact immigration into the US has been steadily declining for years.

            https://www.pewhispanic.org/2018/11/27/u-s-unauthorized-immigrant-total-dips-to-lowest-level-in-a-decade/

            And yes, he is an idiot, liar, and grifter.

          3. Sanctimonious Prick

            Re: Lead the way

            Shit, man! Check your spelling.

          4. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: Lead the way

            "I guess the more accurate way to put it is that the guy isn't an idiot, but he is a nutter. OK, technically more of a sociopath"

            So you wouldn't have supported Clinton, either, then? Good for you.

            Unfortunately, Americans had to choose from these two.

            1. jmch Silver badge

              Re: Lead the way

              "So you wouldn't have supported Clinton, either, then? Good for you.

              Unfortunately, Americans had to choose from these two"

              Fortunately, not being American, I didn't have to make that shitty choice. I said at the time it was a choice between 2 awful candidates. Sanders was a better bet and likely would have beaten Trump

        2. caffeine addict Silver badge

          Re: Lead the way

          The man is a billionaire, and won the Whitehouse as his first political endeavour.

          Ahem...

          2000 : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_2000_presidential_campaign

          2012 : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/16/donald-trump-us-presidential-race

          1. caffeine addict Silver badge

            Re: Lead the way

            Shall we play "guess who down voted the not-fake news"?

          2. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Lead the way

            Ahem...

            I'm not disputing his aborted explorations, but this is the first time he's appeared on any ballot paper. He's never been a congress critter, he's never been voted for in any election.

            I accept I could have been clearer, but my point still stands. He took one run at the Whitehouse and got it. Hillary, despite a two term Presidential husband and the "Clinton machine" of politics, tried twice and failed - most notably against Trump himself.

            Unlimited connections, donations, a political machine, and a Presidential spouse campaigning with you, and a rookie takes the prize..... and you think the rookie is the idiot? Nope, sorry, computer say's no.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Lead the way

              A rookie idiot voted in by idiots is still an idiot.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Re: Lead the way

                A rookie idiot voted in by idiots is still an idiot.

                Ah yes, because anyone voting for someone you don't like MUST be an idiot. There's simply no other explanation for anyone disagreeing with you, right? Its that hubris right there that let Trump into power in the first place.

                I just love it when the arts grads in my local coffee shop tell me that labour voters and remainers are more intelligent because they have more degrees..... Erm, righto.

                1. caffeine addict Silver badge

                  Re: Lead the way

                  It's hard to consider someone as anything but an idiot when they repeatedly contradict themselves, slate their predecessor for things and then end up in the exact same situation, and promise to fix "simple" things then publicly state that they don't think anyone could have guessed how complex the situation was.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Re: Lead the way

                    It's hard to consider someone as anything but an idiot when they repeatedly contradict themselves, slate their predecessor for things and then end up in the exact same situation, and promise to fix "simple" things then publicly state that they don't think anyone could have guessed how complex the situation was.

                    You just described every politician ever. Well done.

                    Idiots don't get to be or stay billionaires. Idiots don't get to start a political movement from scratch and then win the Whitehouse in one shot. Throw in a successful media (tv, books etc) career too, because he's managed better than most in that field.

                    You don't like Trump. Fine. But he's not the idiot.

                    1. BGatez Bronze badge

                      Re: Lead the way

                      He got his $ from his daddy, then lied, cheated, and stole his way leaving others holding the bag behind his numerous bankruptcies. Many investors, but many more little guy suppliers and those blatently cheated by his so-called "university" were impoverished by association with donald.

                    2. caffeine addict Silver badge

                      Re: Lead the way

                      If I was at home I'd find the link, but an economist famously showed that he'd be richer right now if he'd taken his Daddy's money and stuck it in tracker investment - famously the safest and most boring investment portfolio there is - instead of running all his "successful" businesses.

                    3. jake Silver badge

                      Re: Lead the way

                      "win the Whitehouse in one shot"

                      It was his third attempt. Stop trying to whitewash a turd, it makes you look foolish.

                2. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Lead the way

                  It has absolutely nothing to do with who I do or do not like. The man is clearly an idiot, and equally clearly the idiots who were daft enough to buy into his cult of personality and vote for him are also idiots.

                  1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                    Re: Lead the way

                    equally clearly the idiots who were daft enough to buy into his cult of personality and vote for him are also idiots.

                    Voters had the choice between a turd sandwich and a shit covered bagle.

                    Since they already tasted the latter for the last 8 years, what's the worst thing that can happen if you try the former.

                    Aside from that a full 1/3rd of voters decided to not choose and stayed home. They still got a turd sandwich though.

                    It's time for real democracy in the US and take corpoate money out of politics.

                3. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                  Re: Lead the way

                  I just love it when the sociopathic millionaires who never worked for wages their entire life in my local coumtry club tell me that tory voters and brexiters are more intelligent because they have more money..... Erm, righto.

                  FTFY

        3. Beachrider

          Re: Lead the way

          Trump unsuccessfully ran for president in 2000. Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_2000_presidential_campaign

        4. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Lead the way

          "and won the Whitehouse as his first political endeavour" because the people that voted for him are even more idiotic than Trump.

        5. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: Lead the way

          The man is a billionaire, and won the Whitehouse as his first political endeavour. That, no matter how you slice it, is not the work of an idiot. I'm not sure what foundations his genius claims are built upon, but definitely, he's neither an idiot nor a fool.

          Before people start harping on about Trumps personal financial losses, they should first take a moment to understand why making losses can be the best way to make a profit - losses are not only tax free, they are tax deductible. Losses form part of every large corporations finanacial tax planning. That doesn't mean a different legal entity isn't making a commensurate profit somewhere less heavily taxed.

          Losses are one thing, bankruptcies another. Under-performing the markets by a factor of 3-4 is just hilarious. He could have stuck Fred's fortune in an index-linked fund back in the 80s and be worth north of $10Bn today. Instead of the ~$3Bn he actually has.

          Trump's the only person to lose money in the Casino game. The reason his Vegas "Resort" is a luxury resort sans casino is that the Nevada Gaming Commission declined to grant him a gaming license based on the Reno debacle. But since construction was already well underway, they had to do something with the licence-less casino.

          He's a billionaire, but that's based entirely on the property business, and property is easy:

          1. Buy a plot of land in NYC/Chicago/other

          2. Build a luxury hotel, or a block of high-spec apartments or office units

          3. Profit

          Simple law of demand and supply. Built it in Manhattan and they will come. It's just the cost-of-entry is several million to buy into the game. Several million which Trump was given by his father - Fred was a proper, self-made businessman. The real brains of the organisation. Anyone could do it if their dad bought them an eight-figure seat at the table and surrounded them with an experienced project management team who did the actual work.

          Literally every other business Trump has turned his hand to has been an unmitigated disaster. He's bought airlines and run them into the ground. Casinos. Leisure resorts... tool.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Re: Lead the way

            Under-performing the markets by a factor of 3-4 is just hilarious.

            The vast majority of fund managers also underperform the market. It's sadly rather typical, rather than a specific sign of idiocy.

            https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/diyinvesting/article-3504603/Nearly-three-four-active-fund-managers-UK-underperform-past-decade.html

            Trump's the only person to lose money in the Casino game.

            Not remotely true. Casinos live and die within a margin around 1%, 2% at most. Within that they have massive operating costs and fixed overheads.

            1 second on google and here's a solid example:

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2665188/2-4bn-mega-casino-supposed-revitalize-Atlantic-City-goes-bust.html

            Why do you choose to base your opinions on emotions instead of facts?

            He's a billionaire, but that's based entirely on the property business, and property is easy

            And yet so very many construction and property companies go bust every year.

            https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/companies/administrations

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42710795

            https://www.enr.com/articles/43697-behind-the-navillus-bankruptcy-a-union-contractors-ties-to-nonunion-firms

            You do know google exists, so you can easily gather facts to form your opinons from rather than just making it up as you go along, right?

            1. rg287 Silver badge

              Re: Lead the way

              The vast majority of fund managers also underperform the market. It's sadly rather typical, rather than a specific sign of idiocy.

              That's why I specified an index-linked fund. A tracker. Not a fund run by some overpaid numbnuts with an MBA who thinks their salary reflects their competence. And of course there are levels of "underperforming the markets". You can more or less level peg, down some years, up others. Or you can underperform by 25%, or you can grow to a mere $3Bn whilst the markets hit $10Bn.

              And yet so very many construction and property companies go bust every year.

              No. What you've highlighted there is the intermediary companies and sub-contractors going bust either because of fundamentally shady business practices (like Carillion) where shady companies haven't paid their suppliers, or where the project owner screws over everybody from the top down. It's always the little guy that gets rolled over when a company like Trump Org doesn't pay their bills. Of course it's never the Trump Organisation that folds. It's a shell company with a generic name who disappears into bankruptcy, leaving Trump with a shiny new building and no pesky outstanding invoices.

              If you have a good accountant, you can keep going almost indefinitely. If you don't, then sooner or later you run out of liquidity as per Carillion. There are lots of businesses that go bust not because they're fundamentally or structurally unprofitable, but because somewhere along the line the cashflow got screwed up and they ran out of liquidity in such a manner that they couldn't get a bridging loan. The underlying business is still profitable though.

        6. DougS Silver badge

          Trump is NOT a successful businessman

          He inherited a grand total of around $400 million from his dad. Someone ran the numbers about what he got from his dad and when (including the tens of millions to bail out his money losing casino until I guess he said "no more" and it was forced into bankruptcy) and if the money had been invested in an S&P 500 index fund he would be worth $15 billion today. In REAL money, not his fantasy $10 billion net worth he claims, which includes an $8 billion valuation of the Trump "brand".

          So tell me why he's so smart and successful to be a billionaire, when any of us would also be a billionaire if we had inherited hundreds of millions of dollars from our fathers decades ago?

        7. FQ

          Re: Lead the way

          Trump cheats and lies his way to "winning". No family values, no scruples, no principles. Trying to turn USA into a dictatorship, ie. I have people that play nice, eg. police, miltary, biker gang, but at my say so they won't. He should head a mafia family... or already does.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Lead the way

            "Trying to turn USA into a dictatorship"

            I have to disagree with that. One of the first things he tried to do was to have states audit their voter roles and vetting procedures to make sure only legitimate voters were able to cast a ballot. All or at least the vast majority of states said no. I suspect that it would have been embarrassing for states to find out how rotten their roles are and if they don't investigate, there is a nice cushion of deniability. No data, no facts to point at. The race was close enough that he could have boxed himself into an awkward position should it be determined that he won via illegal voting.

        8. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lead the way

          "[Trump] is a billionaire"

          Well, he says he is. He also says that he's exaggerated claims of his wealth, and won't release his tax returns. So really, we don't know how rich he actually is.

          I agree that he's not an idiot, though: he lives a life that suits him very well. However much money he's "really" got, however good or bad he might be assessed in his business dealings, he's certainly living the life of a billionaire - on the surface, he does seem to have everything he wants to have.

          Call him good or bad as you like, criticise his tastes, his politics, his personal life: fair enough. But he's not stupid, at least not when it comes to looking after Donald Trump.

        9. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lead the way

          "Democracy is too important to allow it to be hijacked by the aggreived losers, no matter how much butt-hurt they feel."

          Well, yes. But democracy is a system of government where the people decide by voting on the issues. Any system where the issues of government are not decided by the people voting on them directly is not proper democracy. Not that I think it's necessarily the best way to run things, but there you go.

          Democracy is not actually practiced to any great extent in any developed industrialised nation aside from Switzerland that I can think of.

          Here in the UK, we had a democratic vote which resulted in a majority for Brexit. Some of think it'd be a good idea to have another democratic vote on the Brexit deal that's being offered - after all, the first vote was done on the basis of the promises and threats put forward by the various interested parties, none of which were particularly realistic. Now we've got a real proposition to consider and what does the government do? Say that it'd be a betrayal of democracy to hold another referendum. So May's lot want us to think it's a betrayal of democracy to, erm, hold another actual democratic vote.

          Wanting a proper democratic vote on the Brexit deal that's on the table isn't betraying democracy or hijacking democracy: that's just asking for proper democratic decision making.

          Hell has not yet frozen over so I don't expect we'll get it, but you never know. Yeah, yeah, I voted remain. And I really want another vote because the people who really don't want another vote are the Brexiteers: maybe a second exercise of real democracy would get the result I'd prefer.

          But that wouldn't be the remoaners hijacking democracy: it'd be real democracy in action for real.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Lead the way

        "Pence is Trump's insurance against anyone foolish enough to want to assasinate him."

        Or impeach him. I remember Agnew filling the same role for Nixon. I'm not into American history so I don't know if that was an original idea or if there are older precedents. Anyone?

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Lead the way

          so I don't know if that was an original idea or if there are older precedents. Anyone?

          Johnson, Clinton, and Nixon. None took - Nixon quit, and due to needing a majority in both houses, each of the others got saved by their party.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Lead the way

            Not a majority, they need TWO THIRDS in the Senate, so you need a lot of your own party to go against you to be removed from office. Though the current crop of republicans have their faces implanted so far up Trump's rectum they wouldn't remove him from office even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue.

      4. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Lead the way

        Pence is Trump's insurance against anyone foolish enough to want to assasinate him.

        Been that way for a long time. Anyone remember "Nixon's Revenge"?

      5. M.V. Lipvig

        Re: Lead the way

        Funny, people used to say the same about Biden.

    3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Lead the way

      BREAKING NEWS: Moon inhabitants called. They don't want the two idiots anywhere near them either.

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Lead the way

        The Mysterons also don't like the idea of us being anywhere near them and have threatened to enact their revenge by posting fake news on the Internet.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lead the way

      You can strap Trump to the outside. His bone spurs could be used to guide the thing, and his incompetence will ensure nobody will do much recovering from that landing.

      Also, please send them into a deep crater - that way, they all get the wall they wanted, but at no extra cost to the taxpayer.

  2. duhmb

    Good ol' Capitalistic foresight

    They only went in the 60's to beat the Russki's - didn't give two hoots until then. Didn't seem to care who they killed to get it. Didn't give two hoots now until China showed an interest. Capitalist planning = find something someone else has planned to acquire or wants, and break any rules you need to get it first. Sad.

    That said, Space-X appears to be further along than any, and that's an evil capitalist running dog lackey (I'm out of practice - that the right term?). They'll open it up to all comers, but charge admission :-), probably put the first Disney world up there under license. Before NASA get their act together, Chinese tourists will be visiting Elon's lunar theme park.

    Perhaps Pence's dream is just the American Empire's Last Hurrah... Time to wake up.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. John Savard Silver badge

    On Its Merits

    Whatever one thinks of Trump, and I don't think much of him, when he is doing something good it should not be dismissed. And America getting back into space is a good thing. The Moon is a good first step to Mars.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: On Its Merits

      John, it wasn't Trump spouting off. It was his understudy. The Vice has even less real power than the lame-duck senile one.

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: On Its Merits

        Mike the understudy. Have to remember that one.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: On Its Merits

      Most of the boffins and engineers would agree that getting back into space is a good thing, just not with space capsules filled with people. Including shielding and life-support systems is expensive and significantly increases cost with very little return. Space, it turns out, is a very dangerous place for mammals, but tardygrades seem to do ok.

    3. Mongrel

      Re: On Its Merits

      Whatever one thinks of Trump, and I don't think much of him, when he is doing something good it should not be dismissed.

      Or...

      Whenever a big announcement comes down from the administration it's always best to look at what they're trying to distract us from .

    4. lglethal Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: On Its Merits

      This WOULD be a good thing if Pence and Trump were backing up the pronouncement that NASA "will" do this, with the requistie funding to make it happen. But as is mentioned in the article, NASA's budget has actually been cut.

      So effectively they're declaring "NASA you will go and do this super difficult thing, which is very time intensive and very expensive. But you now have only 5 years instead of 10, and oh were cutting your budget for the future. Good luck with that."

      This announcement should absolutely be ridiculed...

    5. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: On Its Merits

      This is no different than Bush's "WE MUST GO BACK TO THE MOON" that he did, and see what became of that?

      I don't expect anything different here.

    6. DougS Silver badge

      Every president

      Seems to declare a return to the Moon, or a mission to Mars, at some point during their administration. But lacking the funding, and any real incentive, for a return visit makes it pretty unlikely. They just like to say it, so when it eventually happens they can claim some of the credit.

      At least a Moon base makes some degree of sense. The idea people should live on Mars is just stupid, a Moon base is superior in every way to a Mars base.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Every president

        "a Moon base is superior in every way to a Mars base."

        Yeah, no Mysterons! Just remember. The Moon is no place to build a nuclear waste dump. (and watch out for Nazis)

      2. Brangdon

        Re: Moon versus Mars

        Mars is superior to the Moon for habitation in almost every way, because it has an atmosphere, a reasonable day-night cycle, plenty of water and other resources we need, and gravity closer to Earth-normal. It's further away, but takes less delta-v to reach because you can use the atmosphere to slow down, and it's easier to return home again because you can use the atmosphere and water to make rocket fuel.

        The Moon is closer, and has more solar flux. That's it. Admittedly being closer is a big advantage, especially if you just want to plant a flag, but it matters less if you want to found a colony (which is what SpaceX want).

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Moon versus Mars

          The atmosphere is so thin it is practically useless, and is a HUGE negative for solar because the dust storms can last for months (as our dearly departed Mars rover found) so you'd have to use nuclear power for the base.

          There is quite solid evidence of water on the Moon in the form of ice in craters, and if you choose the right crater on the north pole you might even be able to get sunlight 24x7x365. If not you can get it almost all that time, versus the unreliable and weaker solar you get on Mars.

          It is also much closer so you don't have to spend months getting there, and the gravity is lower so getting BACK is more easily doable so it isn't a one way trip. It is also close enough that if the base runs into problems a rescue mission could be mounted.

          The Moon is far superior for a colony. Mars is pointless posturing by Musk, we have no reason to ever want to live there.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Moon versus Mars

            The moon is a good first step in developing ways for human to live off of Earth. While Mars has certain advantages, it's also much further away and is only accessible every couple of years with chemical rockets. A colony on the moon could be evacuated quickly. Fresh supplies could be landed in a couple of days if a rocket is kept on standby. People on Mars would be on their own.

            Lots of scenarios can be thought up about what an off-colony will need to survive certain disasters, but there is no way to think of every disaster. If you've read "The Martian", just about every set back is perfectly plausible. In fact, the protagonist might have had it a little easier than real life. He had every tool he needed or a way to make the tools, lots of spare parts, components fit together (good luck with couplings that all mate with each other in the real world), etc. There are plenty of holes regarding wind speeds, wind loading and all sorts of other stuff, but the character had to get seriously hurt and then be able to conquer each new challenge for a happy ending.

            The biggest reason to go to the moon is commercial opportunities. If Mars were covered in Gold, diamonds, Lithium and Cobalt, it still wouldn't make sense to mine it and send stuff back unless nuclear powered transport is developed. More like the "Mars" trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. Helium-3 from the moon could be great for fusion reactors. The lower gravity might be better for certain industrial processes. Processes that need to be done in vacuum would be simpler. For high value and small/light parts, the cost might not be too prohibitive. A biology lab on the moon separate from any main complex could be constructed to work on especially hot viruses such as Ebola and Marbug. Genetic research could also be done there with a much lower likelihood of contamination of Earth. That lab could be a perfect place to work on genetic therapies for Cystic Fibrosis and other disorders. If an accident happens, the lab can be vented to vacuum and either sterilized or sealed up in ways that aren't possible on Earth.

            I've worked in aerospace and there aren't any fundamental problems with getting to Mars from a technical standpoint. The biggest issues are with fragile humans and the time it takes to get there and back. Cost vs. ROI is another issue. There will be lots of technical progress coming out of a program sending humans to Mars, but likely a higher cost than sending people to the moon. Many of the same problems with supporting people off Earth for extended periods will be common to either destination so it's cheaper to do all of the General Ed courses with a moon program and take the advanced courses for the degree with a Mars program later on once we've mastered the basics.

            The benefit of a laying the foundation for commercial enterprises on the moon is those businesses will push the technology of just supporting people comfortably. Perhaps that can be required to be open source with companies only allowed to patent their core technologies such as CPU's or medical therapies. Once businesses are in place, government programs can just pay for seats on flights and for mass/volume on cargo flights to do things such as radio astronomy on the far side.

        2. M.V. Lipvig

          Re: Moon versus Mars

          There will never be a base on Mars until we have a base on the Moon. There's just too much involved that has to be both right and repeatable before it can happen, and at least with a Moon base we're only a day or three away at any one time. A catastrophic failure on a Moon base can be evacuated with little warning, and the worst that will happen is the moonmen will land dehydrated. A Mars base, evacuation ships would have to be constantly be ready for an evacuation that might last as long as 3 years, so there would be no evacuation. So far, we've not even been able to make an independent biodome work on Earth, and Mars would absolutely need to be independent from the word go. A lot was learned about building a biodome including what can go wrong with the Biodome 2 project, but we didn't learn enough to try for Mars yet. The Moon is the logical next step for non-Earth living.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biosphere_2

  5. jake Silver badge

    Is this the same Pence ...

    ... who claims to his supporters that he's an anti-science religious nutfundamentalist?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Is this the same Pence ...

      Yep. Maybe someone told him God lives on the moon?

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Is this the same Pence ...

        Pence has added some technical requirements to the spaceship; it should be able to carry two of each animal species (one male and one female mind you, none of that other hanky-panky).

        In further unrelated news, Mike Pence is starting movember early.

    2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Is this the same Pence ...

      No, I think you had it right before the strike-through.

  6. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

    We need to work programatically to develop a long-term presence in space, so we can eventually get off this rock before we get bombed by a comet or something. That means developing a base on the moon, and not just going there to plant the stars and stripes.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

      That means developing a base on the moon, and not just going there ...

      Actually, No.

      I'm not a fan of the High Frontier concept, but this version -- http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3568/1 -- just might be doable. For a few trillion dollars. Which almost certainly will **NOT** show up when requested. A more or less self sustaining lunar base would surely cost even more.

      Supporters of lunar/martian bases tend to wave their hands and change the subject when the question of cost comes up.

      If you really want the human race to be able to survive a cosmic disaster (why?) -- dig one or more large self sustaining hole(s) under the Pacific, or the Sahara, or the Australian Outback, or Kansas; equip it/them with fission reactors, staff it/them with a few thousand volunteers and you're done except for dealing with unanticipated engineering problems. Which will likely be numerous. And expensive.

      That'll handle most eventualities, might have reasonable costs and be actually doable.

      Space bases? Sure. Why not? Once the economics become reasonable. Which might happen somewhere between 60 and 260 years in the future.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        Hiding in a hole isn't a good plan.

        As an extermination level impact (Multi Gigaton) will cause;

        (1) A planet circling surface blast wave just like you see in all the old nuclear test footage.

        (2) Sub-surface seismic shock waves causing global double digit level earthquakes and all live volcanoes to erupt as the planetary crust quite literally rearranges itself like ping-pong balls on a swimming pool.

        Fast forward 10,000+ years and the surface may be liveable again unless the impact manages to breach the crust in which case it could take millions of years to recover.

        The only way of avoiding these events is to 'Be somewhere else when it happens' and generally speaking I think about 99% of humanity would like the option of dodging the bullet.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

          Probably greater than 99% but want does not necessarily mean candy.

      2. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        @VTCodger

        There are so many things that can cause extinction level events that would render any network of subterranean cities pathetically inadequate. If we got hit by a really large comet/asteroid (say, 10 miles/15 Km wide), or a mantle plume volcanic eruption like the one that created the Siberian Traps 250 million years ago, and went on for 2 million years, poisoning the atmosphere and oceans during that whole time. What are your cave dwellers going to do for that amount of time? Go full Morlock?

        What about the Earth getting hit by a gamma ray burst that strips away much of the atmosphere? That is a leading candidate for what caused the Ordovician extinction 470 million years ago. Traveling at the speed of light, there would be no warning of the oncoming burst until it hit. No time to get people and livestock into your shelters. No time to stock the shelters for a long stay until the atmosphere stabilizes and regenerates. And I have no idea how long it would take the atmosphere to regenerate.

        The only way to be safe is to get a sustainable human population off the Earth.

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        "For a few trillion dollars."

        Done with some proper forethought (no politicians), the US or a small consortium of countries could plant a "seed" of a lunar colony rather than construct Hong Kong Luna. Small, spartan and oriented for short(ish) stays for research, a government seed colony could host some commercial scientists that would be doing studies for commercial applications. Something that a government would get roasted over a slow fire for doing. That would let companies dip a toe in to see what might be possible before they try to sell a grandiose plan to shareholders. At some point, government researchers might be working from rented rooms in commercial buildings and hitching rides on commercial rockets. Government funding of a large project would be a waste of money.

        For a trip to Mars, it might have to be a strictly government job. I have yet to hear a convincing commercial reason to send people or robots to the red planet. If gravity generators become available and fusion motors perfected so accelerating at 20G is possible, commercial ties between Earth and Mars would be a doddle.

    2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

      Maybe in Mr Pence's mind, talking loudly about going to the moon is what gave JFK his charisma.

      He's just hoping some of that rubs off on him if he does something similar.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

      It'd be quite amusing (but sadly rather unlikely) if the European Space Agency got there first, instead of all this nationalistic jingoism; we are *all* part of humanity after all.

      (I fully acknowledge that what I wrote tongue-in-cheek above is also semi-jingoistic, but it is an example of what can happen when multiple countries work together. Hmm, where are Zefram Cochrane and the Federation when you need them?)

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        According to Canon, we need another world war before Zefram Cochrane does his stuff. At the current rate, this is going to be sometime in the next 50 to 100 years (Cochrane, not the war - we're getting closer each day, I fear)

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        "It'd be quite amusing (but sadly rather unlikely) if the European Space Agency got there first, instead of all this nationalistic jingoism; we are *all* part of humanity after all."

        We just need some Cavorite.

      3. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        @AC

        Sadly, knowing the EU, it will be 2024 before internal negotiations are finished, divvying up 11.32% of EU moon program contracts to Italy, 5.47% to Poland, 16.95% to Germany, etc.

        1. M.V. Lipvig

          Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

          You forgot to mention the French strike that will put the program 10 years behind.

    4. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

      Why not? People are naturally us vs them, and competition drives us. So, being first is a perfectly acceptable way of making this happen. It would only be unacceptable if whoever makes it first then sent weapons up and said "It's ours, nobody else allowed."

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Let's please not do another "We have to beat (insert name of communist nation) to the moon!"

        It's not even "we have to beat....." as much as "We can't let (insert country/company) be the only ones with a base on the moon". China might be the inserted name if their economy doesn't implode. They've announced intentions to do all sorts of things in space including an Earth orbiting station and eventually a base on the moon. Red tape is the biggest hurdle. Going there has been done so we know it's possible. We know what the moon is made of and have some examples of surface conditions.

  7. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The key bits

    No increase in budget agreed. No cancellation of LOPG (destination for Orion), Orion (payload for SLS) or SLS (Shelby's boondoggle).

    Undelaying the Exploration Upper Stage was proposed (EUS required to make SLS theoretically useful). This is a step back from Bridenstein's last speech so Shelby is successfully defending SLS.

    America's first clear step back to the Moon is either and increased budget for NASA or NASA keeping their budget but without the requirement of funding SLS development.

    BTW: LOPG is not planned to be inhabited continuously (astronauts cannot stay there for a year because of the radiation and SLS is too expensive to launch multiple times per year). Earth->Moon requires less fuel than Earth->LOPG->Moon. There has been talk of using LOPG as a propellant depot for refuelling a lunar lander. A simpler solution is to transfer propellant from the tanker to the lander (in LEO or an elliptical Earth orbit) without bothering with an addition transfer to a space station.

  8. paulll Bronze badge

    So... right after Boeing kills hundreds of people by making mind-blowing engineering gaffes and being out-and-out dishonest about their products' capabilities in order to avoid losing contracts, Mike Pence (what a stupid name, though) tells them,"if our current contractors can’t meet this objective, then we’ll find ones that will,"

    (On top of NASA's history of making spectular, deadly explosions in the name of keeping on schedule. ffs.)

    I know Kennedy did the whole,"Space! Right now! Rah rah rah!," thing, to great effect, but to be fair he had to get the proles on-board with giving NASA very, very large sums of money, where these idiots are squeezing the budget while talking a big game.

    1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      On top of NASA's history of making spectular, deadly explosions in the name of keeping on schedule. ffs.

      At least keeping on schedule is a better excuse than making spectacular explosions to bring Freedom and Demockracy (tm) to lots of brown people who didn't even ask for it.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Humans on the moon is just so 50 years ago.

  9. Donchik
    Alien

    Anyone for a new wall?

    Look on the bright side, if the good old US of A and the yellow peril both arrive simultaneously Trump can get new funding for a Lunar Wall to keep them out of the US side...

    Popcorn anybody?

    1. Swiss Anton

      Re: Anyone for a new wall?

      Except that in the ensuing budgetary tiff, NASA will be furloughed, and this will delay the moon shot that will be needed to build the lunar wall

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anyone for a new wall?

      "BUILD THAT W...erm, SPACE ELEVATOR"

      And he'll get those damned Moonies to pay for it!

  10. Filippo

    I assume that "whatever it takes" in this case does not include "money", right?

  11. seven of five

    I may have seen a documentation about this recently

    "Black to the moon" it was, iirc. Pence better be careful, I saw some evil Nazis up there was well, inclunding Reichsflugscheiben and all that.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I may have seen a documentation about this recently

      I thought Pence might have been inspired by watching Iron Sky, some of that far-right space action sounds like the kind of thing that'd float his boat.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: I may have seen a documentation about this recently

        The blurb sounds much like Rocket Ship Galileo by Robert Heinlein except for being on the far side.

  12. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

    Way ahead of you Mikey

    "if our current contractors can’t meet this objective, then we’ll find ones that will,"

    I believe there's some Russian and Chinese contractors you could contact for that.

    1. Dippywood

      Re: Way ahead of you Mikey

      Indian too...

      Budget rocketry from Donald's pal, Kim, perhaps?

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Way ahead of you Mikey

      Yeah, it's not as if the Chinese have any history with sodding great big fireworks.

      Oh wait...

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Way ahead of you Mikey

        Are you implying that NASA was just attempting to one-up the Chinese?

        Or maybe that the chinese had a sophisticated culture while most people in Europe were still running around in bear skins?

        Not sure what you're implying. Give us a hint.

    3. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Way ahead of you Mikey

      Is there a Mexican space programme?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: Way ahead of you Mikey

        "Is there a Mexican space programme*?"

        nearly - Whatever became of Bob Truax?

        *private astronaut

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Way ahead of you Mikey

        "Is there a Mexican space programme?"

        No, but there are a few wealthy and powerful organisations there who's mission is to get people high. Especially Americans.

      3. IT Poser

        Re: Is there a Mexican space programme?

        Yes, the Agencia Espacial Mexicana was created in July, 2010. The preceding agency was Comisión Nacional del Espacio Exterior which was created in 2962. The budget is ~MXN$100 million, or about £400k.

  13. doug_bostrom

    Worst enemy or best friend? Stay tuned to Twitter between 4 and 6a US ET to stay up to date on that.

  14. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Er, what?

    “Just as the United States was the first to reach the Moon in the twentieth century..."

    The Russian Luna 2 mission was the first probe to land on the moon, in 1959; the American Ranger 4 didn't make it for another three years. Even if you only count soft landings, the Russians got there first in 1966. But naturally Pence was referring just to manned landings, 'cos that's the only thing which counts, right? That's why nobody's bothered for the last 47 years.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Er, what?

      "Even if you only count soft landings, the Russians got there first in 1966"

      The Soviets won the space race on points. The US just kept moving the goal posts until they won with a manned landing on the moon. Which side has an existing manned rocket programme now? How do US astronauts get to ISS?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why?

    Don't mind it happening if there's a real scientific or other long-term reason for going.

    "To beat XYZ (to get re-elected)" is not a reason to spend $Billions, especially when the budget deficit grew by something like $2T last year.

  16. wolfetone Silver badge

    It's sad that Mike Pence think's he's JFK.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      At least JFK thought to add that bit about "and returning them safely to earth" which is notably missing from Pence's announcement.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        They'll be perfectly safe in the hands of God. It's not like He's ever dropped the ball before.

        "Er, Houston, we have a problem."

        "Understood, Colonel. Turn to checklist 17A."

        "Copy that, Houston. 17A... Here we are. Step one: pray like a motherfucker. Our Father, who art in..."

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "It's sad that Mike Pence think's he's JFK."

      It's sad for him to think that getting back to landing humans on the moon can get done in 4 years with no budget for NASA to work with. It's also pointless to go back and just plant flags again and leave behind a couple of experiments. Going back should be a complete plan including habitats, rovers, lorries, "spaceports" and infrastructure to do real science on a longer scale than just a couple of days.

  17. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Fake fakery

    “Just as the United States was the first to reach the Moon in the twentieth century, so too will it be the first to we’ll be the first nation to return astronauts to the Moon in the twenty-first century,” astroboffin Pence fiercely pledged in conclusion [yes, yes, that's enough non-Fake News the president wants us all to write – ed.] ®

    Forget fake or real, it might actually be better first if it made linguistic sense. Or is it just someone at El Reg who can't type, transcribe or edit properly?

  18. Stork Silver badge

    Saturn 5 again?

    If you really want to get someone there in that short time, is there a realistic alternative?

    It worked last time.

    Not that I think it is anything but bluster

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Saturn 5 again?

      Musk's Thunderbird 3 is cooler though.

    2. Laura Kerr

      Re: Saturn 5 again?

      If it was cheaper to tool up for building them again, and possible to quickly iron out the problems that would crop up due to the loss of knowledge since 1972, that isn't such a daft idea. The Saturn 5 could put 30 tonnes into lunar orbit - that's quite a big chunk of space station per trip. If modules could be docked without needing meatware to bolt things together, it might be possible to build a complete station relatively quickly.

      But if you needed to send meatware along, the payload reduces to about 15 tonnes.

  19. chivo243 Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Wait a minute...

    Didn't uncle Donny strip NASA of a lot of budget? Effectively making them NADA? I'm so confused...

    Vinnie Barbarino

  20. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Alabama

    Brave Pence announced the plan at a National Space Council Meeting held at Huntsville, Alabama,

    I think most people in Alabama believe that anywhere outside Alabama, including the moon, is part of Satan's kingdom. They're all busy preparing for The Rapture, including buying tickets on the spaceships that will take them away from this hellhole.

    I wish I was making this up.

  21. JC_

    Pence

    "We're also racing against our worst enemy."

    The gayz? Being alone in a room with a woman and no chaperone? The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy?

    1. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Pence

      Shoots.

      Scores!

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Pence

      "The gayz? Being alone in a room with a woman and no chaperone? The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy?"

      No, someone far worse.

      Those who offer vegterian options at BBQ resturants. Strikes fear in to the warm republican heart of Pence.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Pence

        Now now, you're taking things a bit far don't you think?

        I mean, is there even any evidence that he actually has a heart?

  22. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Could be a clever ploy

    If Mike pence has presidential ambitions and hopes to attract the non-Infowars' vote, he will be seen as the less bad option in contrast to Donald Trump. It does look like presidential posturing to me.

  23. ElectricFox
    Trollface

    "American boffins using American rockets to send American people to the American Moon"

    As oppposed to German boffins using German rockets to send American people to the Moon...

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      To get to the moon you first need Nazis

      Pence wants America to go back to the moon

      So first step is to grow your own Nazis

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Damn, now I've got Tom Lehrer playing in my brain.

        Ah well, time to dig out "An Evening Wasted..." again.

  24. SVV Silver badge

    That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

    This stuff sounds brilliant. Magical even. If only we had some here on Earth.

    1. Colin Wilson 2

      Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

      Yes - I've never understood what they mean when they say 'water = power'

      Firstly they'd have to extract the water - in minute quantities - from piles of arid lunar rock. To do that they'd presumably crush it, heat it up, then cool the vapour into water? That would take a lot of power.

      Then, once they've got the water, what then? They could electrolyze it into hydrogen & oxygen. But that would take more power than they'd eventaully get back by burning it back to water.

      Or they could maybe extract a tiny amount of heavy water from it, and use the neutrons to bombard the piles of Uranium 235 that they'll find lying around (?!)

      What am I missing?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

        "What am I missing?"

        The trip to Walmart to pick up a couple of Mr Fusion devices.

      2. F111F
        Boffin

        Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

        Your missing:

        1) Fuel. Yeah, lots of power (solar is available on the Moon) required to make it, but getting H2 and O2 liquified and in fuel tanks gets you back off the Moon, and allows you to bring more stuff to the Moon.

        2) Water, as in the drinking kind. See note above about being able to bring more stuff if you don't have to bring water along.

        3) Crops. Water is fairly essential in growing food. See note about bringing more stuff if you don't have to bring so much pre-packaged food.

        4) Etcetera, etcetera.

        1. M.V. Lipvig

          Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

          I wouldn't waste my time. For a lot of these people, it doesn't matter what was said, it only matters who said it. If a liberal Democrat jad made the same word for word speech the same people would be gushing about how intelligent and forward-looking the speech is. Some of us don't care about the politics of the speaker, only about what is said. Personally, I agree with what Pence said, and had Biden made the same word-for-word speech 2 years ago I'd have agreed with Biden.

    2. Dave559

      Re: That ice represents power. It represents fuel. It represents science

      I'm confused. I thought that spice was power?

      (And it makes your eyes a cool shade of blue...)

  25. Wobbly World

    The far side....

    A mission to the far side of the moon and the installation of radio astronomy equipment, would be a massive boost to radio astronomy, shielded from all that pesky noise coming from all those earthlings and their RFI/QRM.

    That is only going to get worse, as more badly designed consumer electronic devices come to market.

    That alone would make a valid reason for going to the moon and give mankind a new improved eye on the universe!!

    1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: The far side....

      well yes, but why does it need to be manned to do that?

      There does not seem to be many good technological reasons to send people to the moon, apart from inspiration. Most jobs would and can be done by robots, cheaper and at less risk

      That is not to say i am against the idea. The original Apollo program inspired me and many in my generation, and i would love to recapture that spirit, however we have to be honest for the purpose and not invent spurious reasons that don't stand up to scrutony

  26. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    If I was NASA, I would be formulating a response which is basically "Show me the money!!!!!!"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Didn't the previous two chaps (the idiot and the nice one) both promise to go back to the moon and then cut budgets ?

  27. LordHighFixer

    I don't care

    I don't care what it takes, he can bulldoze the entirety or Europe if necessary, get me to the moon. 5 years means there is going to be some serious amounts of fecal matter impacting the rotary impeller in the space industry.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: I don't care

      Yeah but nothing is actually going to happen. It's just empty words with no money or anything else to back them up.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I don't care

        NASA will be seen to be doing something though. Although without any concrete increase in funding, that something will likely be dusting off whichever set of moonbase plans have seen the least daylight in the last 10 years and telling Pence that they spent lots of time and money creating it.

  28. Aynon Yuser

    They'll discover the moon is flat and fake news and hang "jail Hillary" signs.

  29. KR Caddis

    If it's possible still, the best two are Pencel and Trumpet, no return ticket necessary or desired.

  30. 0laf Silver badge
    Big Brother

    We'll go to the moon = jam tomorrow.

    A politicians promise just as easily dismissed or forgotton as any other.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Not sure that would go so well with the cheese. Maybe some pickle instead?

  31. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Re. Moon

    Wonder if I will have my single seater NX class pod working by then? I am not sure how feasible building it in a shed would be but as most of the parts are available it's just the special components like the main reactors and navigation systems that are hard to build from scratch.

  32. cortland

    Sorry, Mike

    There's a Wall that's more important -- and we'd have to buy Russian rockets because you haven't exactly been pushing money at us.

    1. M.V. Lipvig

      Re: Sorry, Mike

      Illegals cost the US some 30 billion dollars a year, a number derived from averaging many claims. 30 billion would buy a lot of rocket fuel.

  33. Beachrider

    Doesn't Pence need to spend on the wall, first?

    I don't think that #45 will let the VP divert funds to NASA until that whole wall-thing is built...

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019