I’m always glad when space travel makes the news. If Google News results are any indication it made more international news than US national news, even though the story came out of San Francisco.

In this case, it isn’t a matter of how to travel to the Moon, but rather how to travel on the Moon.

The bunny hop is out. No more loping across the lunar surface. Not if you really want to get anywhere efficiently anyway. The next-to-last man on the Moon, Dr Jack Schmitt told the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that astronauts need to learn to cross-country ski. That’s what made him the Moon’s fastest man.

Using skiing motions, he was able to perambulate as fast as the Lunar Rover could roll. I would expect that new model Rovers will make the originals look like the Model T does to its modern terrestrial counterparts. Nonetheless, it can’t hurt to move about on two legs in the most efficient way.

I’m not clear whether astronauts will need to train in Scandinavia or if they can just install a NordicTrack at NASA.

I hope the Iraq “war” (or anti-insurgency operational assistance, as I like to call it) keep the focus of the Democrat-controlled Congress. If they see this as their way to stick it to GWB, maybe they will leave alone the plans to get a base on the Moon by 2024. It still bothers me that we have take so long to go back. I’m glad that there will probably be a permanent Moon base in my lifetime and if life expectancies continue to rise, perhaps while I can still call myself middle-aged.

I suppose the good thing is that I’ll never have to learn to ski.


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