Ground Control To Mr. Bush

<b>Andy Rooney</b> On The Plan For Manned Missions To Moon And Mars

President Bush has made two interesting proposals. First, he wants us to launch a new expedition to send men to the moon and then Mars.

People who support the president are enthusiastic about this plan for space exploration.

People who don't like him think that if anyone goes to Mars, it should be President Bush.

The president has also proposed spending $1.5 billion to promote marriage in America. This may prove more difficult than going to Mars.

The Democrats, who would rather have President Bush on Mars than in the White House, suggest that as a role model for his promotion of marriage, he should take his wife to Mars with him.

This would make Laura Bush the first lady on Mars.

I'm ambivalent about the president's plan. I agree we have to keep exploring. Humans would still be cavemen if we hadn't explored. I'm sure there were people in 1492 who thought it was a waste of money when Christopher Columbus set out on the trip that ended up with his discovery of America.

We ought to be continually trying to find out whether there are other worlds out there - even other living things. It seems unlikely that Earth would be the only place in the whole vast universe with life on it.

If there's a God, why would God have put human beings on Earth and nowhere else? If there is other life, we should find it. Maybe they know something we don't know.

But then, I think of all that money. There are so many things we need to do here at home. Space exploration hasn't produced much for us except some good pictures.

The moon is like a trip to the mall compared with going to Mars. The moon is 250,000 miles away. Mars is 35 million miles. Scientists have said that it would probably be a one-way trip for whoever made it, because gravity on Mars is so strong that it would be impossible to bring along enough fuel for them to take off and return to Earth.

Anyone going there might never come back. This makes the trip to Mars by President Bush especially attractive to Democrats.
Written By Andy Rooney