Will we ever return to the Moon? When? Will we stay? The International Space Station is finally up and running. When it's finished, will the US go back to the Moon? Will China? Will somebody, some time in the unknown future? Will they stay, and move on further? There seem to be two sides that have stated their cases to death and have nothing more to say: 1.) The "Pessimists," who feel that space exploration is a dead end and a waste of money (less than 1% of the Federal budget?? - more money is wasted on pornography and tobacco and propping up inefficient businesses!) 2.) The "Space Enthusiasts,"" who think we'll start terraforming Mars and mining asteroids and sending manned ships to the stars really quickly, and are sure that if we don't start colonizing space right away, the door will close forever (exhaustion of non-renewable resources, loss of cultural initiative) and we'll go extinct in short order. They forget the fact that we're not even close to being ready to live in space (in terms of launch capabilities, medical knowledge needed to keep people healthy, life support, etc.). Both groups also forget that forever is a long time. If we can't get past the bottlenecl of renewable resources, even mining asteroids won't help...if we can't make it here on Earth's benign environment, how could we maintain a complex closed ecology in space? Will humanity (or its successors) ever really go back to the Moon, or Mars, and stay... For real?