“It will be technically difficult to divorce this marriage.”
Not really. Abandon the ISS and splash it. Not technically difficult.
“All alternatives, short and long term, should be explored. If necessary, even the use of SLS should be considered, diverted from a lunar goal that is ambiguous. “
Splash the space station to nowhere and the goal is no longer ambiguous. I becomes crystal clear:
Reestablish a permanent human presence in space, but not in LEO; in the vicinity of the Moon.”
Negative and pessimistic article. Thumbs down Dwayne. Did you even think to mention that likely the only way to provide a western standard living to a population of 10 billion near the end of the century, while solving runaway climate change and preventing the wrecking of civilization, is…Space Solar Power?
Did it occur to you that factories on the Moon can manufacture Space Solar Power satellite components with zero environmental regulation and no carbon footprint on Earth? That rockets launched from Earth to the Moon with factory tooling and equipment, using hydrogen, would also not contribute carbon?
Do better next time.
Gerard K. O’Neill envisioned Space Solar Power as a state sponsored public works energy project. Like Hoover Dam except funded like Apollo. He saw it as the economic engine that would enable space colonization.
“So depressing to read the comments here inferring what a bad idea anything not made by private industry to make a fortune is- and somehow not how the world works. The world might work a certain way but it does not necessarily have to. If we don’t do something that is good for everyone we just might end up as that extinct species alien archeologists knew were too stupid to survive. I am pretty sure all the video gamers who think low latency is going to pay for a thousand shiny starships are going to be disappointed.”