Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 7 years ago

Why don't we go back to the moon?

What geological sites of interest would be explored? I mean, the Apollo landing sites were chosen (foremostly) for safety. Instead of golf carts, they will have large rovers that can be lived in for up to two weeks! They will be able to go halfway around the moon and back. Link one or two life support modules to the back, and you can go anywhere you want! The Apollo missions were relatively short, manned mostly by fighter pilots who were amateur geologists, and (as far as the ENTIRE moon is concerned), geologically identical. People who say that we already know everything about the moon don't know what they're talking about. Apollo barely scratched the surface. Even excluding Apollo, with landers, rovers, impactors, telescopes, and orbiters, there is still a vast sea of questions to be answered and thus knowledge to be gained. Also, don't give me that "robots do things better than people", because, excluding, to *SOME* little extent, humanoid robots, nothing beats boots on the ground. We don't know anything about the moon! Half a week total spent on lunar EVA. Humans walked on the surface our moon for a measly half a week. And we know everything? Less than 1% of the moon has been explored *in depth*! We need to send people to the moon again. Where has our sense of curiosity and exploration gone?

"Here man completed its first exploration of the moon, December 1972 A.D. It's signed: Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald E. Evans, Harrison H. Schmitt, and most prominently, Richard M. Nixon, President of the United States of America. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind. This is our commemoration, that will be here until someone like us, until some of you who out there, who are the promise of the future, come back to read it again, to further the exploration and the meaning of Apollo."

- Apollo 17 Astronaut Gene Cernan reading the plaque left on the descent stage of the lunar module descent stage

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Best Answer

    The simple answer is that the United States no longer has the infrastructure or people in place for a manned Lunar mission. To send another man to the Moon will require designing & manufacturing another heavy-lift vehicle like the Saturn V, along w/the vehicles used for orbiting & landing on the Moon. Most of the people involved in the original project (there were six manned U.S. landings between 1969 and 1972) have moved on to other jobs in the 40+ years since then.

    There are several unmanned Moon missions in the planning stages, including:

    --The Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, which will fly twin spacecraft in tandem around the Moon to precisely measure and map variations in the Moon's gravitational field.

    --The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE), currently under study for launch in 2013 on a Minotaur-V. LADEE is designed to characterize the tenuous lunar atmosphere and dust environment from orbit.

    --Chandrayaan-2, a joint lunar exploration mission proposed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA).

    The United States is currently working on a replacement, heavy-lift, rocket known as the Space Launch System (SLS). NASA envisions two basic sizes for the SLS. One would lift 70 metric tons into space, about three times more than a shuttle. A larger version, complete with a 10-meter payload fairing or nose cone, would lift 130 metric tons into space, a larger payload than any other rocket.

    Compared to the Saturn V rocket that carried astronauts to the moon from 1968 - 1972, the SLS would produce 10% more thrust when configured to launch 70 metric tons into space. The larger version will boast approximately 20% more thrust than the Saturn - and is expected to be 40 feet taller than a Saturn V, coming in at about 400 feet.

    NASA's current schedule calls for a test flight in 2017 with the upper stage of a Delta IV rocket, then a flight with astronauts on board in 2021 with the J-2X-powered upper stage. The rocket and spacecraft could also conduct a mission to an asteroid by 2025.

  • 7 years ago

    Because the returns, in terms of knowledge gained, would be trivially small compared with the cost. If we want to know more about the solar system, the moon is not necessarily the best place to go. If we want to know more about the moon, sending people there is most certainly not the most efficient way to explore. There is now the possibility of sending far more capable machines to the moon than was remotely possible in the days of Apollo. Machines are cheaper, more efficient, more reliable, and don't whine if you leave them on the lunar surface in perpetuity.

  • 7 years ago

    Those monster vehicles you want to send take just as much money and rocket power to get off the earth now as they did back then and they will take a lot more fuel to bring to a soft landing than did the light weight Apollo capsules and without atmosphere the tricks used to land on Mars, even tho its atmosphere is very thin, will not work on the moon.

    And we have a considerable shortage of rockets that can lift really heavy loads - so it would take several flights and some assembly in orbit, more costly.

  • 7 years ago

    Because Von Braun was gone. Just joking.

    Not returning to the moon, has some similarities with leaving the low earth orbit.

    Both projects are lack of talent people and money.

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  • John W
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    OK, hand over all your money plus that of everyone in your state and we may have a start. It's purely a financial issue.

  • Rob H.
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Because they found rock monsters there the first time they went. Wacky place, that moon.

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