One of the Brickmuppet's crack team of science babes has come to an astonishing discovery of cover-up and duplicity at NASA!
It seems that NASA's Ares 5 heavy lifter is secretly intended for a nefariously nonlunar purpose!
Selenian Boondocks has the dirt!
I'm shocked...just shocked I say!
But I seem to have misplaced my pique.
It seems that lots of the Alt-Space types seem to be very upset that NASA's lunar vehicles are actually optimized for a Mars Direct type mission. I fail to see why this is a bad thing. The NASA plan seems to be to do a few flags and footprints missions and then pretty much turn the moon over to the private sector and big universities.
Then they will focus on Mars, which is a tougher nut to crack, has far more potential and is beyond private efforts for the foreseeable future.
Griffin's proposal for privately operated propellant depots and entrepreneurial ventures in particular gives some indication of where he wants to go...and that seems to be largely out of the way of the private sector....which is a damned good thing if you asked me. :)
UPADATE: Despite the claims of some commenters, neither I nor the science babes were not being misrepresentative in the above post.....However it seems that the posts premise is likely quite wrong.
NASA announced today plans for a moonbase, probably on Shackelton Crater. Here is a PDF. More when I'm not on the way to work.