The new NASA budget abandons the idea of an American lunar base, which has been one of the U.S. goals in space (albeit not consistently pursued) since before NASA existed. Assuming the U.S. stays on its present course, when and by who will a lunar base be built? By an an international coalition? By China?
Buzz Aldrin thinks we can put a coalition together. So far, there's been no serious attempt to try, but the new budget direction makes it an important option to look into. (To be fair, any such attempt can't really be mapped out until we see what form the 2011 budget takes when eventually passed by Congress.) Russia has talked about a human lunar mission by 2025 China and India have made less firm projections... all kinds of ideas are in the air. What will happen? Stay tuned.