Now this is something I think we can all get behind...
Thursday, NASA launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in order to begin what one NASA official referred to as "America's first step in a lasting return to the moon".
The purpose of the $500 million orbiter is to spend the next year orbiting 31 miles above Earth's moon. While there, it is to map out the face of the moon, making sure to point out crater and other landing obstructions (as NASA is planning to begin a lunar colony in the ten years) as well as check out the moon's poles, where many scientists believe they may find water ice under the rock there.
As an added bonus, NASA is also announcing that on the morning of October 9th, the orbiter will have a special treat for all the little astronomers out there. That morning, the orbiter is expected to launch a depleted rocket at the surface of the moon, expected to leave a sizable dust plume capable of being seen from the Earth's surface with only a common backyard telescope.
While I know that there are better things that the Government could be spending our money on, for whatever reason the idea of there being a colony on the moon in my lifetime is totally and completely mind-blowing.