Question: When will man return to the Moon?
I know in 2009 NASA's plan was to return to the Moon by 2018 and set up a permanent base, but that was scrapped by President Obama because of financial issues. Earlier this year I heard that Russia was planning on sending humans to the Moon by 2030. This week, NASA came out with the new Orion space craft, a larger, and technologically updated version of the craft used in the Apollo missions and stated that this would carry man to the Moon, asteroids, Mars and beyond, but with no date set in stone, I am very anxious as to if we will return to the Moon at all in the next century. After all, NASA hopes and believes that by 2033, man will walk on Mars, but I don't see how this is possible seeing as we haven't been to the Moon since 1972. What I want to know is any information anyone has about any plans to return to the Moon by any organization (government or private) from any country. All responses are appreciated.
This is NOT a question. It's an editorial and a slam against Obama. "W" canceled the Space Shuttles. Obama's administration canceled and reformatted the Constellation program. Instead of blaming everything on Obama and not blaming a lot of this on the idiot Congress (Tea Party) that we elected in 2010, NASA as moved on and still says that we will go back to the Moon TO STAY. Instead of editorializing on YA about what NASA and the space agencies cannot do, IN YOUR OPINION, why don't you sign up to get emails FROM NASA and other services about space policy news?
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Apparently you need to be reminded that there was LESS THAN EIGHT YEARS betwee President Kennedy's speech and Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. The rockets that will put is back on the Moon are being built RIGHT NOW.
VOTE IN NOVEMBER.
Really, how logical was the Orion / Ares project, the Orion capsule is virtually identical in capability to the SpaceX Dragon capsule which just docked with the Space Station and several other commercial capsules under development and they were developing not one but two Are's rockets? The only reason why they released the Orion capsule is because that's the part they actually did any work on in the Orion / Ares project. When they cancelled the Constellation project, they kept the Orion as a possible escape vehicle for the ISS, mind you they also had the mini-shuttle they had planned as an escape vehicle but that was canceled too.
Really, NASA is all a big make work project, NASA didn't like the Delta Clipper cause it only took 3 people to support instead of the 25,000 used by the Shuttle so they wanted the X-33 instead which of course failed because they couldn't make a odd shaped pressure tanks that would hold up. Note that the Delta Clipper only exploded when it tipped over because of a Russian LOX tank that Nasa insisted they test even though the Delta Clipper engineers said the welding wasn't to their standards, Nasa blamed the accident on an overworked support staff. The Orion cost way more than the Dragon capsule to develop and yet it's practically identical in passengers and cargo, the Dragon is just slightly smaller and not angled as much. The Dragon isn't angled as much because they are hoping on installing rockets on the sides that can fire down at an angle so they can do powered landings instead of just splashing down like they're doing now.
The government never should've killed the Delta Clipper and the whole Orion / Ares effort was not only a duplication of effort but a duplication of duplication of effort. The Orion is just the really expensive life boat now as they would likely contract any actual missions to the Moon or Mars to SpaceX for the Dragon capsule, SpaceX is working on the Red Dragon to descend to Mars and take off again. The space station and long distance vehicles will probably be Bigelow with their version of the Transhab module. And the Dragon capsule may also function as a lunar lander. The only problem the private companies have is that the only real customer for them is NASA who wants to spend billions doing the same thing that the private companies spent millions doing.
I see the cancellation of the Constellation program as appropriate, it was a waste of money in the first place, given the efforts of the private companies, but we did get a good review of the Apollo era technology out of it which we had mostly forgotten. I think they should've put the money into the Vasimir rocket and ion engines as well as nuclear reactors in space, preferably liquid flouride thorium reactors for safety reasons. Then when the private companies had their capsules, habitats and heavy launchers ready which they do now, they could just dock them together and you would have a reasonable interplanetary space ship. As it stands, they just wasted billions.
What they should focus on now in order of importance are space probes ( they're cheap ), deflection of asteroids, propulsion as in ion engines and the Vasimir, telepresence robots to reduce EVA both in orbit and on other planets, mechanical counter pressure space suits, nuclear power in space ( either like Canada's nuclear battery which was designed for the US military radar stations but canceled because of political outlash or the LFTR ), and mining, smelting, manufacturing in space. They may be able to only afford the top three or four but that should fit well with private efforts.
You pose the problem very well, and ask some very good questions! Basically, Obama and Congress have the program so screwed up now that there are only two manned missions firmly planned, a manned earth orbit mission followed by a lunar mission, one loop around the moon and return, probably in 2021. There are no plans to even develop a lunar lander at this time, so no landings are currently on the horizon. Obama said in a speech after trying to cancel the entire program that there was not reason to return to the moon, "been there done that". What a moron!
He has talked about doing a mission to an asteroid, but that would be way after he leaves office, hopefully in January. There are so many problems with this that I hardly know where to begin... starting with the fact that there are few good targets for such a mission, and with luck we might be able to launch such a mission every five years or so.
The short answer is, for our space program, there are no deep space missions planned beyond that one loop around the moon, which is something we only did once during Apollo, and that was during the failed Apollo 13 mission.
Several points to mention here:
1) The problem of finance of the space program happened in the previous administration (of GW Bush). I gather that it cost money to have two wars going for o many years. That oney had to come from somewhere .... Obama simply recognised the obvious and cut back on certain projects. But construction of heavy lift rockets are still being funded.
2) The Chinese and the USA have announced that further (manned) trips to the Moon will occur. I haven't heard of any specific date for a launch. I should think we will have more info about a launch schedule in a few years.
3) The "schedule" for a manned landing on Mars is 2038. At least that is what I heard. Bear in mind that trips to mars will take about 18 months. Trips won't be scheduled in any year where there is a sunspot maximum. The next one is 2013, then 2024 then 2035. The years 2034-2036 would not be considered. So there is 2037 to 2042 where trips can be expected.
4) There is no point per se, in sending people to Mars just so someone can walk on it. That was essentially the reason for the demise of the Moon landings. There has to be an underlying reason for going there, be it colonization or whatever. I suspect (I hope) that think tanks in NASA are considering this aspect, as it is vital if funding is to be maintained.
I personally don`t think that "nasa" will return to the moon.The next people to walk on the moon will most likely be the Chinese i`d say within the next 20years.