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Message Subject The Moon: Seriously, no Revisitations in 4+ decades?
Poster Handle Halcyon Dayz, FCD
Post Content
Seriously, why haven't we been back in over 40 years?
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

The reason to go in the first place doesn't exist any more.
 Quoting: Halcyon Dayz, FCD

I have a hard time with this excuse. It was simply to beat the Soviets, nothing more.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

It's not an excuse, it's a fact.

But not a simple one.
When the Soviet Union orbited Sputnik 1 they demonstrated the capability of nuking American cities by unstoppable means.
The Americans seriously freaked out over this.
The dread of living under the permanent threat of thermonuclear annihilation is seriously under-appreciated by the generations that didn't experience it.
It was an existential crisis.

For its own peace of mind, as well as to reassert itself as the leader of the free world, it needed to demonstrate that their way of life was not only superior, but provided the means to defend it self and the West.

To do so a country needs a strong economy, top-notch scientists and engineers, cutting-edge technology (civil and military), a big, strong, world-class industrial base, and superior organisational skills.
A Space Race was the ideal non-aggressive way to not only demonstrate that the US had these things, but to also massively invest in these things, to enthusiast people about science and technology, so America would remain a strong leader for generations to come.
The American leadership understood that it would be hard and would require immensely vast resources, but that it was necessary if they didn't want to lose the Cold War.
It was a multi-faceted battle in a war for national survival.
You can always get funding for a war.

Landing a Man On The Moon, and Returning Him Safely, was picked as the finishing line of the Space Race because the Americans were confident they could not only do it, but do it before the Soviets.

How could we stop with technological progress.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

We didn't.
But you're still going to need a Big Friggin' Rocket to actually get to the Moon.
A Saturn V cost something like 350 million 1960s dollars.
And those haven't gotten significantly cheaper since 1973. It'll still cost you many thousands of dollars to get a single kilo of payload into Low Earth Orbit.

How could there be no more reason? If it can be done, why would we simply never do it again?
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

As soon as Apollo 11 landed safely the Mondales and Proxmires started whining about the cost.
Several missions were cancelled.
Extended Apollo was cut down to just Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program.
The oil crisis happened.
The fucking Space Shuttle happened.
The Reagan Revolution happened.

American politicians don't see an overwhelming reason to spend humongous amounts of other people's money on anything other than bread and circuses, and stuffing the pockets of their sponsors.
America is politically dysfunctional and lacks vision.

Is there any other major technological triumph that man has only done once then never repeated?
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

But it was repeated six times.

Nobody builds pyramids any more.
The Chinese never again build Treasure Ships. They realised they just didn't need such ridiculously large ships.
It took many decades for humans to return to the South Pole, or the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
Many things are so costly and so hard to do that people need an overwhelmingly strong reason to do them.

I'm not talking about technologies being lost to time. I'm talking about a major breakthrough that's then subsequently abandoned like manned-missions to the moon have been.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

The technology wasn't abandoned.
Pretty much everywhere you look you'll see the products of the Cold War/Space Race.
From today's ICBMs and space stations to your PC.

Someday people will return to the Moon, but they might very well be the Chinese.
They still feel that they need to proof themselves.

Why would they go back? What is there to gain? They went so they could say they had done it, done it, saw there was nothing on the moon, did it a few more times to proof they really did it and than got home. There is nothing on the moon, why would they invest billions just to go back there? Been there done that, now it is time for other things, like sending rovers to Mars.
 Quoting: John Kimble

This sounds too apologetic to me. Nothing more to see here, let's never do it again.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

Nothing worth many billions of dollars. (Yet.)
In case you haven't noticed, America's favourite national hobby is bombing brown people in far away countries, not space exploration.
NASA's budget is a pittance compared to the DOD's

Mankind has always strived to repeat and build upon its experiences.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

Some experiences we would rather not repeat.

Civilisations decline and stop being great.
America just happens to be one of them.

Perhaps if there had been a series of setbacks and failures, there would be a declaration that continuing exploration of the moon isn't feasible. But that didn't happen, we just stopped going. Period.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

But exploration of the Moon continued until this very day.
By more affordable means.

Does the concept of money confuse you?
Some things are more expensive than others.
Resources are finite.
It always boils down to the question: what do you want to spend it on?
So why don't you write a letter to your Congress critter demanding a tax hike so mankind can pursue its Destiny Among The Stars.

The idea is that once something is done, it is usually repeated.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

Make up your mind already.

What doesn't make sense is the reality: that we haven't been back since the early 70s.
 Quoting: Anonymous OP 11330901

Since your understanding of the politics and history of space travel is rather limited, what makes sense to you is hardly the gold standard.

And since when does human behaviour have to make sense?
It's really hard work for humans to act rationally.
Please verify you're human:

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