Spaced out

 There’s water on the moon!Well, kind of.According to NASA scientists, probes have found the basic elements needed to “make” water on the moon, and estimate that roughly a quart of water exists for every cubic yard of lunar soil.But there’s a problem: although NASA’s annual budget is roughly $18 billion a year,  NASA claims they need an astronomical $21 billion a year, or the doors of the space program are doomed to close.NASA says they need more money, and I say give it to them.It will be a sad day at space camp when the shuttles we currently use to transport astronauts to the International Space Station are retired in 2010, without any feasible alternatives waiting on the assembly lines.And you would think with all the technological advances we’ve had in the  last century, we would have flying cars and cities in the clouds by now.I’m talking a full-on hodgepodge of The Jetsons meets Luke Skywalker here, or at least something that resembles the sci-fi fantasies we know so well.The problem with space travel is, and always has been, the enormous cost it takes to get a spacecraft off the launch pad and into orbit.But what about the potential of our new frontier?What if Lewis and Clark had not explored the west because of monetary problems?Everything we need to make it to the moon and farther in the next century is right in front of us, and all we need to do is pump a little cash into the equation.Space is the final frontier ¬ the end-all to discovery. Finding water on the moon is only the beginning. Think of all the things we could accomplish in the next century if NASA received the funding they needed to propel us into the next space age. We could discover a completely new life form, or find out ways to colonize other planets. Space exploration was built on hopes and dreams. Let’s not shatter those dreams and abandon all hope for future space exploration just because it is expensive.Instead of wasting all our money on the fat cats on Wall Street, we should send NASA that money where they actually plan to do something productive with it.