Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
CAPE CANAVERAL -- Congress is poised to give NASA all the money it asked for in 2005, including funding to start work on human missions to the moon and Mars.(From Florida Today)
Nothing is final until the Senate votes. But the deal is progress for a space agency that spent months fending off Congressional threats to cut its budget, delaying if not killing the moon-Mars plan.
The preliminary plans provide the first glimpse of the next possible moon mission and how NASA intends to prepare for a Mars expedition. Extended moon visits were proposed by Bush in January as a steppingstone for the more complex task of reaching Mars.(From USA Today)
More to the point, extended Lunar missions are a stepping-stone to Colonisation, of both the Moon and Mars (for now). And that's the crux of the whole manned space programme, if only we dare say it.