# Why the US has not been back to the moon?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Mind Over Matter, Jan 12, 2012.

1. ### nitram22Registered Senior Member

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the moon

What I find interesting is that with the rather recent discovery of water under the moons surface why hasn't the possibility of getting some important samples isn't considered a must. After all, think of all that could come from what it would do if we found a way to utilize the resource it could create, if we established artificial living environments, and more. And how far could we launch a vessel without having to contend with Earths atmosphere and gravity.The potential I can see is staggering. And yet they scrap the shuttle program. This is a seemingly backward move if you ask me. I thought when the discovery first happened just a couple of years ago we would be on our way back to the moon by now. What's going on with our interest for science at least?

Last edited: Jan 15, 2012

3. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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America saw that Russia sent a robotic craft to the moons surface as an adjunct to actually sending a human there. America was at that time in a cold war, so to say, with Russia and couldn't let it get a human to the moon first for the world would see America had lost its space race goals. You are correct that America did it to one upmanship the Russians and perhaps learn a few new things along the way as well. While America did set the manned lunar landing as a political quest it did have other motives like advancing space other projects that we now have seen come to fruition like the space station ISS.

5. ### phlogisticianBannedBanned

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Not true, simply the public got bored of Lunar missions, and had the attitude "we've beaten the USSR, so why keep going back?". Saturn V rockets were re-designated to support the Skylab mission instead, again to compete with the USSR who had switched focus to space stations, and was again leading the world, with Salyut~1.

Is it? 14 dead astronauts in two failed Shuttle missions is 'avoiding egg on the face' is it?

7. ### FatFreddyRegistered Senior Member

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They never went to the moon. I made a list of the proof but it's pretty long so I'll just post a link to it.

I've been trying to debate with Jay Windley over at the JREF. Jay Windley is the webmaster of the Clavius website.

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=8135606&postcount=7907

Here's his response.
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=8144391&postcount=7990

By making that post he pretty much showed that he knows the moon missions were faked as well as the hoax-belivers do and that he doesn't even believe his own arguments.

8. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I think the key issue in terminating lumar missions was risk. The technology was a bit stretched. They were using cords as software code. That is how far they were stretching the technology. Aside from the limited technology there were other risks that were even more difficult to mitigate (e.g. solar flares, metorites, etc.). Travel to the moon was extremely hazzardous. And after Apollo 13, I think it dawned on them they could face a senario where the crew could die a slow and lingering death broadcast in near real time. That would not bode well for the program.

I think that was probably the major reason why lunar missions were scrapped. It was better to end the missions on a high note and wait until the technology became a bit more stable and reliable rather than risk the public wittnessing the potential slow and painful deaths of our astronauts.

Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
9. ### R1D2many leagues under the sea.Valued Senior Member

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I thought we were going to go back to the moon as practice. For a future Mars mission. But I do think politics were a primary reason an less tension with USSR since it turned into Russia. An were (the U.S.) not racing anyone.
It would be neat to go back to the moon. An also see how much waster the prior astronauts missed. An try to create something on the surface. Using the water to grow plants. An try to make it a habitat to live on. Or a moon station. The iss to me makes little sense. An keeping people there for long stretches if we don't use them on moon missions or mars missions

10. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I think we will be going back to the moon for profit - helium 3 for fussion reactors.

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/19296/

11. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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I think first we'd need a useful helium 3 fusion reactor.

12. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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18 posts, and you're the first one to get it right.

It was most definitely a show of superiority during the Cold War. Just a few years before JFK's famous "we choose to go to the Moon!" speech, Americans were aghast that Russia put a satellite in orbit over their heads. It was they who really won the space race. So the Americans upped the ante. That's why it took them a scant 7 years to go from football-sized satellites to Saturn Vs.

13. ### DaveC426913Valued Senior Member

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IMO, it will be tourism that drives the next space race.

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15. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
16. ### BelieveHappy mediumValued Senior Member

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There is no reason to go back to the moon at this point beyond curiosity. It is just a barren, deadly rock. Until mining operations can be set up in way to actually make a profit we will not go back in a meaningful way because there is no point to it (curiosity does not pay the bills unfortunately), unless you happen to have several billion dollars just lying around that you can't find a better use for.

17. ### BalerionBannedBanned

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So did you just not read the posts immediately above yours?

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I did land a robot on the moon, but those fussbudgets wanted proof before they handed over the $30,000,000 prize! :bugeye: 19. ### BelieveHappy mediumValued Senior Member Messages: 1,194 Not really (until now), it doesn't take a genious to understand that at our current level of technology it would never be economically feasible to mine the moon. A trip to the moon would be around a billion dollars for ONE TRIP. Do YOU understand that at the current price (today) of$1600 an ounce it would take 39062 pounds (space shuttle can carry about 53000 pounds) of platinum just to get to a billion dollars? This kind of weight would be possible to get back to earth, but that means that you need to set up processing facilities on the moon to get it out of the ore. That means shipping all the chemicals, manufacturing gear, mining gear, personel, habitats, and food to the moon which cannot be done in one trip due to the payload.

You also could not just ship the ore back because it generally takes much more ore to get the metal out.

Helium 3 sounds cool and all but for it to be economically feasible (at least for large scale adoption) it would have to beat out compeating energy resouces in PRICE, which would not happen for a long, long time if you have to go all the way to the moon to get it.

However, in the long term these things are bound to happen, just probably not in our lifetime.

SO AGAIN I state that the only CURRENT reason to go to the moon is to sate our own curiosity, which doesn't pay the bills.

Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
20. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I have not studied the issue. But you are assuming existing prices for HE 3 will remain unchanged by the advent of fussion reactors. Assuming HE 3 fusion comes to be economically feasable, then demand for HE 3 will skyrocket and so will the price - the old supply demand law in action. Thus far we have only discussed the technical and economic challenges. There are also legal and international treaty issues that must be resolved as well for lunar mining to become a reality.

We are in agreement that it will ultimately happen and in order for it to happen it must be economically sound. The question is when, and I don't think your nor I know that answer. But there are some pretty smart people and money moving in that direction - towards lunar mining of HE 3. At this point it is far too speculative for my tastes.

Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
21. ### BelieveHappy mediumValued Senior Member

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I thought the price going up was understood. It would still have to beat out nuclear, oil, coal, and natural gas which are available right here without a billion dollar rocket trip.

22. ### Epictetushere & nowRegistered Senior Member

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Just a good old poem I remember about the Moon. Can't even think of the poet just now:

Three wise men of Gotham
thought the Moon was cheese
So they tried to catch it in the river,
But all the little tadpoles sang a merry tune
"You'll never catch it,
It's the Moon, Moon, Moon!"

23. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member

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I don't know how much moon trip would cost. It would definately be expensive. But technology has become much cheaper and will continue to get cheaper. We are already seeing space tourism (e.g. Virgin Galactic and our Russian friends). I don't know how much Virgin expects to pay to get people into space. But I would venture is is signficantly less than a billion dollars a pop. And the Russians are charging 30 million US dollars per trip.

http://www.virgingalactic.com/booking/