Fly Me to the Moon, For Only 100 Billion...

Sinatra crooned it, Kennedy pledged it, and the US of A did it. Now apparently the plans are up to do it again, for $100 billion? The fact that NASA is planning on using Shuttle components (the best of 1970's technology folks!) to get this accomplished tells me everything I need to know.
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Um, thank you no! NASA is still playing with derivatives of 8-track technology when the rest of us are debating the move from DVD to all-digital online storage!

From a neocon that may sound downright odd but here is why:
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SpaceShipOne succeeded in a private space competition to be the first low-orbit repeat trip within a two-week turnaround. Private competition PROMOTES efficiency and creativity.

Ok, I know that we got velcro, duct tape, satellite television, cell phones, video games and nannites (joke) from the first space race. Yes we gained pride and secondary scientific benefits that are at best difficult to measure in terms of dollar value. I'm just saying for way less than $100 BILLION we could get some Richard Branson nut to fund the project to build something that is functional, safe, and easily replicated into a commercial format.

It worked for the low-orbit race. Why not for the Moon? Mars? Alpha-Centauri? Dangle 10% of that projected cost in front of the private sector as a new X prize and watch the investment soar!