If this is any evidence, then way too long is how. Bad Astronomy reader Jason Marsh put together this interesting little graphic showing what the world was like back when we last went to our nearest celestial body (ie. 1972):
Whoa. Nixon and Elvis. Vietnam. Pong.
It’s even more of a shame to note that the Obama administration’s current plan for NASA is to focus on more long-term goals, rather than simply returning to the Moon, setting up a colony of sorts there, and using the knowledge we’d glean from that to help further our abilities for eventual exploration goals. It would be far more pragmatic (and practical) an approach to take.
(via Bad Astronomy)