Five hundred years from now, our descendants will likely recognize walking on the Moon as this generation's greatest accomplishment.
While harnessing the atom and building the computer may come close, the Apollo moon missions will define the 20th Century as Columbus' discoveries did the 15th and Newton's the 16th.
In this context, it is perplexing- and disappointing- why Newt Gingrich's recent idea to colonize the Moon was dismissed by so many as desperate politics, and others as down right loony.
While Candidate Gingrich's proposal may be "out there", it raises an important issue that deserves serious consideration:
What should be the goals of America when it comes to future space exploration and development?
With the retirement of the Space Shuttles, and our only way now of getting to the International Space Station being a hitched ride with the Russians, America's space program is in a funk to be sure.
Our past success in space and its importance for our future merit a discussion worthy of a people who made humankind's greatest journey a reality.