That was the plan in the 1960s, according to declassified national security documents released this week — some of them stamped as "SECRET."
Today those schemes may sound as outlandish and dusty as a relic black-and-white episode of "Space Patrol."
The U.S. Army brainchild "Project Horizon" was born.
Its proposal to leap beyond the Soviets opened with the line: "There is a requirement for a manned military outpost on the moon."
The paper argued that it was imperative for the United States to develop and protect its potential interest on the Earth's natural satellite — and to do so quickly to protect the American way of life.
"To be second to the Soviet Union in establishing an outpost on the moon would be disastrous to our nation's prestige and in turn to our democratic philosophy," the paper surmised.
It should have the kind of priority and authority given to the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb, the Army said.
"Once established, the lunar base will be operated under the control of a unified space command." The space around the Earth and moon would be considered a military theater."
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