Jeff Foust makes a curious statement about the reluctance on the part of some members of Congress to fund a return to the Moon:
However, the article misses the point that there is some opposition in Congress regarding how the initial mission, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), is bring run: while NASA is soliciting proposals for LRO instruments, NASA is building the spacecraft in-house even though there are any number of companies perfectly capable of building it. There have even been suggestions for data purchase and prize mechanisms to obtain the data LRO would acquire, which would seem to better fulfill the commercialization imperative of the Aldridge Commission.
I'd like to know who in Congress is pushing a commercial lunar mission. Also I wonder which companies are actually "capable of building it" in less than four years. There probably are, even though no one as far as I know has gone past the viewgraph stage.
Anyway, that sounds like an more interesting debate to have after the election than some I've seen. If Bush wins, of course.