In response to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s NASA announcement in Huntsville, Alabama earlier today, Mars Society President Dr. Robert Zubrin commented:
Vice President Pence’s declaration of intent to land Americans on the Moon by 2024 was a welcome statement of resolve, vitally necessary to give the nation a human space flight program that is actually going somewhere. His call to put the base at the lunar South Pole is also welcome since that is where ice reserves can be found which could be used to refuel spacecraft used to explore the Moon or return to Earth.
However the goal will not be achieved if NASA is allowed to continue to misdirect its efforts to build an orbiting Lunar Orbit Gateway (or Tollbooth as it is should more accurately be termed). This legacy project will cost a fortune to build, a fortune to maintain and add to the propulsion and timing requirements of any lunar mission forced use it.