Will we ever return to the Moon?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by gweeds, Jul 21, 2001.

  1. gweeds Registered Member

    Will we ever return to the Moon? When? Will we stay?

    The International Space Station is finally up and running. When it's finished, will the US go back to the Moon? Will China? Will somebody, some time in the unknown future? Will they stay, and move on further?

    There seem to be two sides that have stated their cases to death and have nothing more to say:

    1.) The "Pessimists," who feel that space exploration is a dead end and a waste of money (less than 1% of the Federal budget?? - more money is wasted on pornography and tobacco and propping up inefficient businesses!)

    2.) The "Space Enthusiasts,"" who think we'll start terraforming Mars and mining asteroids and sending manned ships to the stars really quickly, and are sure that if we don't start colonizing space right away, the door will close forever (exhaustion of non-renewable resources, loss of cultural initiative) and we'll go extinct in short order. They forget the fact that we're not even close to being ready to live in space (in terms of launch capabilities, medical knowledge needed to keep people healthy, life support, etc.).

    Both groups also forget that forever is a long time. If we can't get past the bottlenecl of renewable resources, even mining asteroids won't help...if we can't make it here on Earth's benign environment, how could we maintain a complex closed ecology in space?

    Will humanity (or its successors) ever really go back to the Moon, or Mars, and stay...

    For real?
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  3. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    Then you have another group, realistic-scientific-space-enthusiasts.

    I (think I) am realistic, I don't believe in terraforming on mars, and do not believe in human living on another planet.
    I think we will stay at the moon, but not for living, but as a base for space-exploration and astronomers.

    As far as I know, ESA and china both are planning to visit our moon.......
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  5. gweeds Registered Member

    That's what I want to hear...

    That kind of discussion is what I want to hear...realistic assessments of what might actually happen in our real future. Not knee-jerk optimism or knee-jerk pessimism.

    Science fiction has raised expectations (Star Trek, anyone?) and disappointment has lowered them (it will never work! it's a waste of money! we're doomed!)

    What we need is a middle ground. There is much good to be done by a real-world space program. What can really and should really be done?
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  7. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Gweeds ...

    I think I'm going to have to agree with Kned,
    but being more cynical, I'd have to say: For military purposes.

    Remember, it was the 'Cold War' that gave this country the impetus to go to the Moon in the first place. Once that competition was won interest quickly fell off to the point that we were lucky to have put up SpaceLab for a while.

    And don't forget, we didn't get into the ISS bit until after Russia had Mir. Again, competition? Military considerations? Who knows.
  8. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    Oooops, one more thing ...

    And if you don't think that competition plays into it Gweeds, consider why Quest, the new air lock module, was added to Alpha.

    Could it be that without it, EVA's were only possible if our Astronauts wore Cosmonaut's space suits and that it forced us to recognize that the Russians had learned a thing or two over the years (their suits are a lot more flexable and compact).

    Now I can split and stay split.
  9. Bebelina kospla.com Valued Senior Member

    ArenĀ“t we there already?

    I think so.

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  10. Sagan disciple Registered Member

    why not return?

    I believe that it's mainly the political will thats missing and that is preventing mankind from returning to the moon and realise the vision of Kubrick and Clarke in 2001.As water ice has been discovered in the lunar polar regions there is no real other excuse available is there?

    It's a real tragedy that 32 years later we are still no further on than low earth orbit.Yet Space exploration is not costing a fraction of Dubya's ultimately doomed 'Son of Star Wars'. The planets are still tantilisingly out of reach for manned flight and I believe although I may be wrong that even the Robotic Pluto Express mission has been canned due to cuts and ' re-direction of budgets'. Is this correct?..I'd be glad if anyone could tell me.
  11. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

    We should go back under certain conditions...

    If we go back, this may allow the public to gain more interest in space, and give enough support to a mission to Mars, or a permenate colony on the moon. With a stagnant economy, I don't know if people will gripe about more wasted government money. We could do it for probably cheaper than the Apollo missions. Technology is cheaper, and we could divide costs between us and a few other countries.

    I think we should go in the name of science, exploration, adventure, to show that America can still be a powerful leader and example in every environment, including space. If we go there should be at least a 5-year comprehensive plan to explore. There could be a small solar power exchange from the Moon-Earth, or a limited mining capacity on the moon to help recover costs of the missions.

    Even better would be a joint private sector & NASA project to get space tourism going. You'd be surprised how many upper, and upper middle class people would pay for a few days or a week in space. MONEY!
  12. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    Re: We should go back under certain conditions...

    Why should you ever want to show that america is a powerfull leader.......COLD WAR IS OVER. it has no use prooving that you're the biggest and the greatest, everyone knows the USA is.
    (first sign the kyoto-project pls, then you are a great country for me again...)
    And when you want to proove the monopoly of the USA, pay everything yourself.....

    But enough about political nonsense, it's about space and science after all.
    That's why I just don't like the idea of space-holidays, it seems much better for me if astronomers and scientists get that seat in the space-craft and go to the moon....but we have the money-problem.....difficult point.
    I am gonna think about this one!
  13. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

    Read the thread in World Affairs & Politics entitled, BUSH PISSES ME OFF. The USA is treading in dangerous waters.

    Earlier in the reply I said we should split up the cost between us and a few other allies. That isn't showing American dominance is it?

  14. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    sorry, but it doesn't seem logical to me that I search through the whole forum to see your posts about Bush.

    I mentioned the split of money myself, and I said IF you want to show the leadership of the usa THEN you should pay it all yourself. In one post it was just very confusing that you want to pay together and you want to be alone....

    And about my bad spelling, just check my signature.
    I would like to see you writing some dutch, english isn't my own language, so pls except some bad spelling. Thank you.

    Excuse me when my post feels like an attack, it was just a serious post about space and politics.....
  15. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

    The saddest part ...

    If I'm not mistaken, KneD, Bush would rather pour untold billions into a questionable missle defense system when NASA is, the last I heard, $4.3 billion in the hole and trying to have some of its European partners pick more of the load.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2001
  16. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

    Actually KneD your spelling is really good for a second language. Anyway, aside from the little quote about American supremecy, I still think we should go to the moon. Permitting of course there is someway to reimberse the costs of going, we can't throw money into a fire and expect to get anything back. Maybe solar power could be transformed to microwave energy, and sold fairly cheaply back to Earth. I still think Earth orbit tourism will with a few years time, be able to fund a space exploration to the moon, or even Mars.

    KneD, the Neatherlands must be nice this time of year. Thanks for replying.
  17. Sir. Loone Jesus is Lord! Registered Senior Member

    To the moon!

    Yes Bobby Lee, we have been to the moon! Over 32years ago!
    If it was all 'staged', it would be the most grotesques of all deceptions ever by man kind just to win a 'race' [space race] to the moon! If it was all staged, what I am thinking isn't nice at all about the people who staged it! But it really did happen! We went to the moon and back.

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  18. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    Bush' missle defense system, that's wasting your money...
    I think that space and science must be free from 'races' and bad feelings towards eachother, that was why I reacted that way to Thecurly1, and why I am against the missle system.

    I think that in science we can achieve much more with working together then working in akind of game/race.
    A real scientist wants to know the truth, and doesn't want to win a game/race.

    Pls don't start the 'did we really go to the moon' discussion again , it is for sure that we were there....

    Let's hope for a moon-base right now, I think that'll be a giant leap for astronomy and space exploration.....
  19. thecurly1 Registered Senior Member

    To clear things up I am totally against the Ballistic Missile Defense shield, until something really odd changes my opinion. That would be a drastic reduction in world wide nukes, or an unprovoked attack by a third-world country upon a major nation. Unless those two things happen VERY soon, I am against SDI, because I fear this could raise world wide hostilities, and spark an arms race w/China. We don't need a Second Cold War, we were lucky the last one was over by the beginning of the last decade.
  20. fsbriggs Registered Member

    commercial space

    like somone mentioned above, there are countries other than the usa with plans to go. i think that the most significant exploration will take place after space has been commericalized and the cost of things like getting into orbit come down.

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