One of the biggest mysteries to me is why we, as a nation of explorers, have not capitalized on the progress of NASA's Apollo program from the 1960's and 70's and established a permanent base on the moon.  By the time I was born, these missions were already a part of history, and we were back to conducting experiments in orbit (again).  Yes, we were still technically exploring new technologies like re-usable space craft - but, we had seemingly turned our back on one of the greatest scientific achievements of all time.  By the way, It's been about 8 years since we had a Space Shuttle slip the surly bonds of Earth - so, we're falling behind there as well.

It looks like NASA is looking to remedy that oversight now, as the space agency is preparing to finally set up a permanent base on our closest celestial neighbor.  In an interview with Space.com, Jim Bridenstine discussed the future of NASA and government-funded, American space exploration.  The newly appointed chief of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has much bigger and better things on the horizon for the agency that has been surpassed in the whole "space" thing by the private sector, specifically companies like Elon Musk's Space X.  Jim thinks that it's time to remind the world who landed on the moon first, by going back - and staying there.

Bridenstine says that the historic agency will be setting up permanent operations as a way to train and prepare humans for colonizing other celestial bodies (like Mars), and as way to test out extra-terrestrial mining operations for extremely valuable materials (like helium-3 and water).  The base could also be used to launch missions to the red planet and beyond, and serve as a laboratory that could unlock the secrets of the universe (and possibly invent some form of astronaut food that tastes good).