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Meet the Republican Congressman Obsessed with Sending America Back to the Moon

Congressman Bill Posey has introduced the same bill over and over again directing NASA to prepare a return lunar landing mission. Will Trump finally make it a reality?

by Shannon Stirone
Feb 27 2017, 6:02am

The last person to step foot on the Moon was the late US astronaut Gene Cernan in 1972. Since that time, the Apollo program ended, the Space Shuttle program started and ended, and the International Space Station began housing astronauts from around the world.

With little success, many people in Congress have tried to nudge NASA back to the Moon. Earlier this month, Republican Congressman Bill Posey of Florida, a former rocket inspector, submitted a bill with this very long title: "To direct the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to plan to return to the Moon and develop a sustained human presence on the Moon."

This isn't the first time Posey has submitted a bill with its sights set on the Moon. The last attempt was in 2013 when he tried to pass a bill with an almost identical title. And in a recent hearing held by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Congressman Posey shared his experience working at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (for rocket company McDonnell Douglas) during the first Moon landing, and his hopes for experiencing that again in his lifetime.

Going to the Moon again would be exciting, but NASA's already-minuscule budget (a mere $18.5 billion in 2016, compared to $585 billion for the Department of Defense) means that the agency  can probably only afford one big dream at a time. Do we go back to the Moon or do we press ahead on visiting Mars? Right now, Mars is winning by a landslide. For the last few years NASA has been focused on its Journey to Mars, with no plans to send people back to the Moon.

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