"Sputnik: A Mixed Legacy" [October 8] implies that scientists can't decide when and if to go back to space.
Putting manned missions aside, the fact is that cost-effective, exciting space exploration has never stopped. Look at the nasa Cassini-Huygens website for amazing images and discoveries around Saturn and its moons (www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/main/index.html). Atmospheres, volcanoes, geysers, ice, lakes, and carbon-based compounds, thought previously to exist only on Earth, are present on a number of Saturn's 60 named moons.
I was disappointed to note a lack of mention of Ares in "Sputnik: a Mixed Legacy." This is the program that will take us back to the moon. In the future, Apollo and Ares will be mentioned in the same breath and with the same reverence as Sputnik. You might consider updating your readers about NASA.
Rebecca A. Farr