Originally posted by Old_RSA
Please excuse my ignorance of the United States (which in my opinion does not appear very United).
Why on earth to they need a budget of billions to go to moon?
Irony of ironies, you actually provide the answer in your next paragraph. Allow me to pull it out for you?
Back in the sixties they had some good weed, not a huge amount of electronics, not even an XT-PC, nevermind the computing power we have today.
And here is part of the problem. The engineers in the 1960s didn't have the electronics we have today. Have you ever worked on an *old* computer
system? You know, one from, say, the early 1990s? If you have, you're familiar with the concept of 'legacy hardware', and you know what an absolute
(ahem) she-dog it can be to find parts for them. If you've never had that particular pleasure, there's no real way to explain it. You can sample it
by doing a search for Intel 386 processors. Trying to duplicate the Apollo program is the same problem, but orders of magnitude worse. It's 40-50
year old technology, and we simply don't build things that way any more. It's like trying to find parts for a steam locomotive. It's not that we
don't understand what they did, we've simply lost the knowledge base to recreate it. So, we have to spend money to go back to the proverbial drawing
board and design a system based on the tech that we actually build today.
They did not have the propulsion systems we have today,
And, conversely, *we* don't have the propulsion systems that they had. There aren't any working F-1 engines, nor is there tooling to make them. To
put the gap between then and now into perspective, the Delta IV Heavy is one of the biggest currently operational boosters. It generates 775,000lbs of
thrust. That's just over half the thrust of a single F-1, and a Saturn V used five of those. Needless to say, we're a bit lacking in launch power
compared to the 1960s. It's not a conspiracy that caused it, it's a simple lack of need. Nobody needed to launch anything big enough to require a
Saturn V, so they stopped making them. Sad, but inevitable.
they did not have the ability to map and trace space junk, asteroids, etc. etc....
Not relevant to a lunar flight, actually.
still they climbed in their tin-foil suits and claim to have flown to the moon, played a bit of golf, and returned safely. They didn't have
billions of dollars, technology from all the nations and scientists combined (remember that Russia was not talking to them back then).
Actually, they *did* have billions of dollars. Take a few minutes to search out the budgets for the Apollo program, and then adjust for inflation. The
numbers are scary.
So, if we made any headway in science and technology, why are they struggling so much to get back to the moon? Good lord, with all the money,
technology today, they should be visiting the moon at least on a yearly basis!!
In my head, I can hear some Victorian time-traveler muttering about how the technology of the 21st century obviously has stagnated, and even
regressed. After all, not a single marine architect builds triple-expansion steam engines, and the railroads are totally empty of steam power!
We've made lots of progress, but as I noted above, in some ways, the progress is costing us money now, because we no longer build things as they did
Or might it be that the denialists are correct... maybe they never had the skills to make it to the moon the first time around ?
Applying this 'logic', I suppose Columbus never made it across the ocean? After all, we can't build ocean-going wooden hulled sailing ships with
bronze cannons (at least not without billions of dollars in investment)....therefore, since we can't do it now, it couldn't be done then, and by
extension, it never happened?