Version 1.0 of CasperXJ's online revision of the Wing Commander Customizable Card Game is available now. It's missing a couple cards and things, but otherwise sounds like an interesting recreation of the game. You can download the 3.5 meg starter pack here. You'll need to learn how to play the game and figure out the CardTable interface, but once we get it all figured out we hope to organize some games and simplify things for everyone. If you have any questions, check out the Crius thread here or XJ's info page here.
Justin tipped us off with an interesting link to the US House of Representatives site on the Space Exploration Act of 2003. Mixed in with the space wariness some government officials have exhibited because of the Columbia disaster, many in congress feel that NASA just needs a set of clearer goals and a plan for implementing them. The proposed act sets target dates for further manned lunar and martial exploration, and outlines some of the budget to fund the new Office of Exploration that would carry this out. Although some people are against the new proposal because of the United States' current budget and economic situation, the funding for the entire project would be really tiny compared to some of our other (conspicuously military) expenditures. Texan Representative Lampson can be found here for more information.
Within 20 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the development and flight demonstration of a reusable space vehicle capable of carrying humans from low Earth orbit to and from Martian orbit, [u]the development and deployment of a human-tended habitation and research facility on the surface of one of the moons of Mars, and the development and flight demonstration of a reusable space vehicle capable of carrying humans from Martian orbit to the surface of Mars and back.