Fifty years after Apollo, when will we go back to the moon?

moon landing
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong's famous first steps on the surface of the moon demonstrated both ground-breaking technical expertise and immense political will. Science and technology have made considerable progress since then, so why was the last manned mission to the moon in 1972? In his new book, Returning People to the Moon After Apollo, former Apollo engineer Pat Norris gives a detailed account of the Apollo missions and of the Soviet program that was the other competitor in the race to the moon, and asks why more people have not landed on the moon in the decades since. He also assesses today's programs and weighs up who will likely be the next to walk on the moon and when.

In the opening chapters, Norris outlines in detail why the US decided to embark on a to send humans to the in the first place. He then goes on to describe the technical and managerial advances necessary to send humans there, and gives a detailed account of the first moon landing using supporting photographs and diagrams. NASA originally planned for ten moon landings—Apollo 11 through 20—and in the second half of the book, Norris explores why returning people to the moon has not been prioritized over the past forty years.

"The May 1961 decision to send men to the moon was taken on Cold War strategic political grounds. The main motivation was not to advance science or to explore the universe," explains Norris. "Apollo happened because its success was made a national strategic priority with a budget to match for several years."

Norris contrasts this with the bungled Soviet program which was ultimately cancelled after repeated failures of their giant N1 launcher. In the final chapters of the book, he assesses who might be in a position to launch a new mission to the moon and when this might happen. For the first time since the 1970s there are realistic schedules for people to once again walk on the moon. Who will be the next to do it? The United States, China, or a private company?


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More information: Returning People to the Moon After Apollo: www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030149147
Provided by Springer
Citation: Fifty years after Apollo, when will we go back to the moon? (2019, July 9) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-fifty-years-apollo-moon.html
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Jul 09, 2019
My six-year-old son thought it was crazy that we haven't been back to the moon for my entire life. He was reading a book about the moon landings and asking questions about follow up missions. We are looking forward to the new race to return to the surface.

Jul 09, 2019
"If we can put a man on the Moon, why can't we put a man on the Moon?"

Jul 09, 2019
My six-year-old son thought it was crazy that we haven't been back to the moon for my entire life. He was reading a book about the moon landings and asking questions about follow up missions. We are looking forward to the new race to return to the surface.
says Jeffhans

Sounds like you've got a budding scientist or astronaut (or both) there in your son. Cultivate his curiosity and sense of wonder, and see how far he can go.

Jul 09, 2019
well ddaye,
what specific purpose?
what scientific advancement?
what personal objectives?

do you want to achieve?

then pester your congresscritter with those objectives
make sure you include a suggestion of increasing high paying jobs in his or hers district

always another re-election looming & the perpetual campaign staffs do not pay for themselves.
unless you are an unnamed Chief Executive embezzling from charities.

Jul 10, 2019
Apollo cost over $150 billion in inflation adjusted 2018 dollars. Right now, Congress and Trump have allocated little more than 1% of that to going again. That's barely enough to do some tests and write some puff pieces about them for PR and propaganda.

Until you see $200 billion slated to going back to the Moon (never mind Mars) then it isn't going to happen anytime soon.

Jul 10, 2019
Apollo cost over $150 billion in inflation adjusted 2018 dollars. Right now, Congress and Trump have allocated little more than 1% of that to going again. That's barely enough to do some tests and write some puff pieces about them for PR and propaganda.

Until you see $200 billion slated to going back to the Moon (never mind Mars) then it isn't going to happen anytime soon.


Your post is misleading. Currently NASA manned spaceflight spending is over 10 billion per year. More importantly, it is half a century from Apollo, and a similar mission should be much less expensive using todays technology.

If NASA fails in this mission, it would have much more to do with gross mismanagement rather than size of the budget.

Jul 10, 2019
huh, all that money...
just mystically disappears into outer space
without a trace
when it is not spent on a project
you would personally profit from
then it becomes a sacred entitlement
the projects you would prefer to see get the funding
all this technology & brainpower were free for you too use at your whims?
grow up...

if you are truly sirius about supporting a specific program?
you would be forming coalitions with like-minded people to organize influence to gain your shared goals

what do you mean that's nit good enough?
ahh, you are demanding that everybody else concentrates on your goals as you dictate

because?

even if some one else produces a better objective than yours?
you especially will reject it if it is obviously better than your idea.

especially if you never get your idea to work properly

& thus begins the next cycle of woomongering frauds insisting that only their cult ravings are "The Truth"
despite all the evidence against their fantasies

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