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40 Years after Apollo 11 - why is there still NO Moonbase and Marsbase ?

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posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 08:44 PM
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With the upcoming 40 year anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, I took a moment to consider the amount of significant progress in manned space exploration that has taken place since 1969 and unhappily reached the conclusion that it may as well be zero.

When one considers that US manned space exploration went from essentially nothing in 1961 (Alan Shepherd, 1st US astronaut) to a manned lunar landing in 1969 (Apollo 11), a time span of ONLY 8 short years later ... this was nothing short of incredible. So what have we achieved of comparable significance since then ? Ok, we've sent numerous robotic probes to various planets and moons and sent back innumerable photos and videos. And we've designed and built a number of shuttles (and managed to lose a few of them) but that's it ... the shuttles are essentially ALL we've got to show for the money and time so far invested ... and even they are becoming wornout and obsolete technology.

Since Apollo, we've blown opportunity after opportunity to establish a permanent, manned presence on either the moon or mars. We can't blame it on lack of technology as we've had 40 years in which to substantially develop it. Stop and consider the fact that your mobile phone has more computing power than was available to the Apollo 11 crew ... and yet they made it to the moon and back.

So why did the bright future of space exploration cease to be something worthwhile and noble for us as a species to strive towards and settle into mediocraty ? When did the apathy and lack of interest set in ? Why did we become complacent and settle for sending the equivalent of a "Toys'R'Us" dinky little remote controlled toy car to Mars to do our exploring for us ? And let's not fool ourselves, these ARE nothing more than just toys. Here we have an entire planet to explore and all we can do is send toys on a many month long journey that are JUST barely able to explore a few short meters and perform minimal science.

We SHOULD be permanently on the moon by now ... but we aren't.
We SHOULD be permanently on mars by now ... but we aren't.

If this is all we have to show after 40 years .. then it's a sad commentary on the entire space program !




posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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reply to post by afoolbyanyothername
 


The launch to the moon was a race between us and the Soviets.

It was a political agenda that happened to also run along science.

After the fact... it became pretty pointless. We became self involved, and took several hits to our national pride and wallet.



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 09:03 PM
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I think they're actually doing the responsible, both fiscally and scientifically, by first doing many tests in shuttles that orbit close to the earth.

Just wantonly flying to the moon and trying to establish a base seems a little unrealistic. I don't think we even know how to make something like that the remotest bit sustainable, not to mention it would cost a LARGE fortune to do it.

However, I do really really hope we manage to establish a moon base. Costs be damned -- this is an amazing time for our species, and putting a base on the moon would be nothing short of the most amazing accomplishment (in its own right) since.. ever!



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 09:36 PM
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Im with the O.P. here.Reaching for the stars should have been mans next great endeavor.As for the costs invovled commercial minining of lunar ores and minerals could even help fund an affordable tourism route.Lets face it the earth isnt getting less crowded.Maybe we should look at alternatives and settle a new,new world.



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 10:35 PM
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Originally posted by AgentX09
Im with the O.P. here.Reaching for the stars should have been mans next great endeavor.As for the costs invovled commercial minining of lunar ores and minerals could even help fund an affordable tourism route.Lets face it the earth isnt getting less crowded.Maybe we should look at alternatives and settle a new,new world.


My point exactly ...

We achieved what at the time (the 60's) was considered impossible and we did it in way under 10 years from start to finish ... so one would have expected a timeframe along the lines of within 10 years AFTER Apollo 11 (by 1980) that we had established a permanent and sustainable presence on the moon ... and that within 20 years after that (2000) that we had established a permanent and sustainable presence on mars.

Perhaps there's some reason that we're completely unaware of that resulted in manned space flights being completely restricted to low Earth orbit only. But I'm willing to bet that lack of technology, knowhow and money certainly were NOT the issue. But for some reason, we lost the drive and initiative that first put man on the moon and have been content to piddle around just above the atmosphere.

Imagine how America would have turned out if the 1st pioneers after finally reaching the American west, had simply looked around for a few days then turned around and headed back east saying "Yep, nice place the West ... perhaps we'll come back again in 50 years time !"

The movie 2001 had showed us the way it SHOULD have been ... but somewhere along the line we dropped the ball badly !



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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There is a small one on the Moon - there is a enormous camp on Mars however we are not allowed to cross...yet


jra

posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by afoolbyanyothername
I took a moment to consider the amount of significant progress in manned space exploration that has taken place since 1969 and unhappily reached the conclusion that it may as well be zero.


Well I completely disagree. I think we've accomplished a hell of a lot since the first Moon landing. The shuttles have made spaceflight seem routine and we've built a large space station in orbit. We've learned a lot just from building it and we'll learn even more from living and working in it. I think it's great anyway.


Since Apollo, we've blown opportunity after opportunity to establish a permanent, manned presence on either the moon or mars.


Kind of hard to do when your funding gets slashed. NASA's budget has been pretty bad since the days of Apollo and the early space programs. I think the bright minds at NASA would love nothing more than to establish a base on the Moon. Which is the current plan, if all continues to go well.


So why did the bright future of space exploration cease to be something worthwhile and noble for us as a species to strive towards and settle into mediocraty?


I blame it on the short sightedness of the politicians and disinterest of the general public. Many people today still think spending money on space exploration is a waste and that's truly sad.


When did the apathy and lack of interest set in?


Around the time of Apollo 12. Although I wasn't alive back then, but I always hear that most people didn't care or pay much attention to the other Apollo missions (excluding Apollo 13).


If this is all we have to show after 40 years .. then it's a sad commentary on the entire space program !


I think it's more of a commentary on the priorities of the US Government and not so much on the space program itself. They (the US Gov't) would rather spend hundreds of billions on defence, give trillions in bailouts to failing companies, rather than spend more on NASA. Well that's not entirely true, Obama did propose an $18.7 billion budget for 2010 for NASA (a $2.4 billion increase over the 2008 budget) whoop-dee-doo!



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 11:28 PM
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Well in my opinion we should concentrate on fixing things here on earth before we think about setting up permanent bases on other celestial bodies.

I think that the ISS is a good way of learning and experimenting without spending the ludicrous amount of money it would cost to have constant flights to and from the moon, not to mention the cost of sending the supplies and building a base on the moon.

What would really be the point of having a lunar or mars base? I understand it would be great to gain all the knowledge about other planets etc, but take a look around the state of our world right now.

We need to concentrate our resources on more important things....not that we are actually doing that - but it's what we should be doing.

[edit on 8-7-2009 by DirtyPete]



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 11:12 AM
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Yeah!

And where's my flying car?



And where are the Factory Farms? (mmmmmm....giant tomatoes!)


But I agree. We should have much more of a presence in space than we do. I have hopes my daughter will be up there but she want to be a veterinarian.

[edit on 7/9/2009 by Phage]



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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I agree we should have made bigger strides over the last 40 years in space but lets not forget we've achieved quite alot as well.
whatever reason it was for not going back i think it was a good 1,maybe they were going to have a gap of say 10 years then see how things are.as time went on i guess people just were not interested so they pulled the plug.
the next few years will be interesting as other countries will be getting deeper into space



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 



I have hopes my daughter will be up there but she want to be a veterinarian.


Oh, no! Not another one!!

Meat is tasty, she doesn't know what she's missi......oh, veterinarian!!!


Well, that's very different!

never mind....

RIP Gilda Radner, wherever you are......



posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 04:13 PM
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Easy. We have been told not to come back. As (i don´t remember his name) the 6th man to walk the moon said, when they came to the moon, huge ekstra terrestial ships where there to monitor them. That is why. Maybe soon they´ll make a deal with them so they can go, but i find it very unlikely. Love and light.


jra

posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by thealiveone
 


Edgar Mitchell has never said anything remotely close to what you claim. He, like many people here, just believes in UFO's. But he has never claimed to have see one to my knowledge.



posted on Jul, 10 2009 @ 06:47 PM
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Well I completely disagree. I think we've accomplished a hell of a lot since the first Moon landing. The shuttles have made spaceflight seem routine and we've built a large space station in orbit. We've learned a lot just from building it and we'll learn even more from living and working in it. I think it's great anyway.


I understand the point you're making but respectfully have to disagree.
As technologically wonderful as the shuttles WERE (note the past tense), they haven't changed much at all over the last 20 years or so and are now at the point of needing to be retired from service. And what do we have to replace them with in the near future? nothing much as far as I can see. So from this point alone the manned space effort appears to have stalled and stagnated. Every now and then we blast off a shuttle with a bunch of people aboard but whats really being accomplished ? The launch of a new satellite ... a spot of maintenance on the ISS ... but NOTHING spectacularly new from the point of advancing manned space travel. In other words, plain BORING !

As for the ISS, sure we call it a "space station" but even almost half a century after Apollo 11, it's little more than a crude collection of connected cylinders catering to at most a small handfull of people at a time living in very cramped conditions. Why do we NOT have anything more sophisticated to show for half a century of space exploration ?

Just watch Richard Bramson and Virgin Galactic ... give him 20 years and with the prospect of making a ton of money and he'll have hotels and resorts in space and a fleet of state of the art shuttles to ferry people back and forth. NASA will end up becoming a 2nd rate space power.


jra

posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by afoolbyanyothername
As technologically wonderful as the shuttles WERE (note the past tense), they haven't changed much at all over the last 20 years or so and are now at the point of needing to be retired from service. And what do we have to replace them with in the near future? nothing much as far as I can see. So from this point alone the manned space effort appears to have stalled and stagnated.


I agree somewhat with this. NASA has been rather neglected since the days of Apollo. They don't have the funding needed to develop new spacecrafts every 10 years or so. Ideally they should be testing and building the next gen spacecraft before retiring the current one, like they do will military aircraft. But sadly the reality is that NASA's budget is nothing remotely close to what the Military gets.


Every now and then we blast off a shuttle with a bunch of people aboard but whats really being accomplished ? The launch of a new satellite ... a spot of maintenance on the ISS ... but NOTHING spectacularly new from the point of advancing manned space travel. In other words, plain BORING !


This is where I strongly disagree. I love watching every shuttle mission, especially the ones to the ISS. They do a lot to advance manned space flight in my opinion. Maybe not so much technologically, but it advances our knowledge of building, working and living in space. It's invaluable knowledge that can be applied to building and living on the Moon as well.


As for the ISS, sure we call it a "space station" but even almost half a century after Apollo 11, it's little more than a crude collection of connected cylinders catering to at most a small handfull of people at a time living in very cramped conditions. Why do we NOT have anything more sophisticated to show for half a century of space exploration?


Well half a century isn't a long time. Connecting multiple cylinders together is the only way we can build a space station right now. We are limited by how much we can lift up into orbit. Plus we can't build it from scratch all in orbit, the infrastructure isn't there. We can only assemble pre-built modules. It will be a long time till we're able to build something like "Space Station V" from the movie "2001".



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 02:35 AM
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Yeah, like others said, the space race was more about the USA trying to prove it was 'better' than the USSR than about science. Once they showed those soviets up, there was no reason to go back.

One thing I find very interesting (and a little sad) about the timeframe, is this. Being an avid science fiction reader, I notice that many books written around the 'golden scifi' age in about the 50s-60s predict a lot of technology. In nearly every case, humanity has outperformed the wildest dreams of those writers, with the notable exception of the moon base. Authors fifty years ago were writing about moon bases existing today or earlier.

Now, I realize science fiction is not science fact, but some of these extremely bright minds were imagining ordinary people travelling amongst the stars, living on the moon and elsewhere. At the same time for instance, when Heinlein had a family travelling to Mars use a slide rule to calculate course corrections by hand en route to another planet, you've got to wonder why so many other areas of technology and innovation have advanced so far beyond their wildest predictions, like the computer, nanotechnology, electronics, medicine, biology, and so on.

edit: to add about a Mars base, even if we'd had appropriate NASA funding for the last 50 years, I doubt we'd have done more than send a few people to Mars. It's a heck of a lot more work, given that it's something like a 1 or 2 year round trip. Still, we could do it, if we had enough money to throw at the problem. By now, though, we really should have a presence on the moon similar to Antarctic bases today, and it's a shame we don't.

[edit on 11-7-2009 by DragonsDemesne]



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 02:51 AM
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Well half a century isn't a long time. Connecting multiple cylinders together is the only way we can build a space station right now. We are limited by how much we can lift up into orbit. Plus we can't build it from scratch all in orbit, the infrastructure isn't there. We can only assemble pre-built modules. It will be a long time till we're able to build something like "Space Station V" from the movie "2001".


Half a century is MORE than enough time to develop a fledgling idea into one thats fully mature and made available to the general population. There are numerous examples e.g. less than 40 years to go from NO air capabilty to one catering to moving the masses globally ... less than 40 years to go from simple steel clad ships to massive super aircraft carriers ... less than 40 years to go from the 1st crude transistor to a world spanning electronic communication web ... less than 20 years to go from NO cell phones to a phone in (almost) every pocket/handbag ... less than 10 years to go from NO human in space to humans on the moon ... etc ... etc ... etc



We are limited by how much we can lift up into orbit.


And WHY is it that we haven't improved our lift capacity significantly in the last 40 years ? Why are we still essentially strapping a (barely) controlled chemical explosive to our backsides as the ONLY way we know of to get ourselves of the planet ? Where's all the research that should have been done on launch technology over the last 40 years ?



Plus we can't build it from scratch all in orbit, the infrastructure isn't there.


Yes, you've hit the nail on the head ... WHERE is all the infrastructure that should have taken far less than 40 years to develop and put in place ?


So, no ... time is not the excuse to use here and neither is lack of finance. If we as a species WANTED to have a major and significant presence out in space, on the moon and mars then we could have done so easily by now.
We simply lack the drive and determination that our ancient forefathers possesed when they accepted the challenge to go out there and conquer new frontiers ... instead we piddle around in low earth orbit with a handful of cans strung together and send toy cars out to mars and pretend we're doing significant "science". Beaming 1000's of pics back from mars showing the ground within a few hundred meter radius of the lander is NOT markedly improving our knowledge of the planet ... humans SHOULD be out there doing the exploration and science.



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