In passing the other day, I mentioned the Moondoggle. This is the idea floated early last year that NASA might return to the moon and build a base there, for no particular reason. At the time I thought it was just a failed trial balloon that rose out of Karl Rove’s head. But several commenters said that in fact it was alive and well, and now I see the BBC reports that 2020 has been set as the date NASA will triumphantly return to 1969—er, I mean, the moon. Nasa Administrator Mike Griffin said the new launch vehicle and lander would be “very Apollo-like, with updated technology. Think of it as Apollo on steroids.” This is an appropriate comparison, because it makes clear that the new project will be bloated, prone to fights, and, when it comes to producing anything of lasting scientific value, probably impotent.