Or for that matter, to Mars?
Well, not down to the surface of the moon, because the shuttle needs a runway to land on. But how about a fly-by? Then we could get some good close-up pictures of the neighborhood, not to mention some photos of the alleged leftover lunar lander junk from 1969.
And as long as we’re at the moon, why not zip on over to Mars & finally get some real experimentation accomplished. Landing a robotic mini-lab on Mars would be easier (methinks) from a high orbit than would blasting one off from the earth.
Another advantage would be that Earth-bound scientists wouldn’t need to wait 9 minutes for the radio transmissions to make their round trip travel between a Mars rover & main mission. The space shuttle in a high orbit over Mars could do the job more efficiently.
What are the rea$ons, if any?