Why Is It So Hard for NASA to Go Back to the moon


The space shuttle Atlantis and its STS-122 crew head toward Earth-orbit and a scheduled link-up with the International Space Station (ISS).
  • 50% Off Select Filtration Systems at Aquasana

  • Written by:

    Pratibha bissht

    pratibhabissht@mtkenyatimes.co.ke

    The last time a person visited the moon was in December 1972, during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission. Over the decades, NASA planned to send people back to the moon but has yet to succeed. Astronauts often say the biggest reasons why humans have not returned to the lunar surface are budgetary and political hurdles not scientific or technical challenges.

    Landing 14 people on the moon remains one of NASA’s greatest achievements. Astronauts collected rocks, took photos, performed experiments, planted some flags, and then came home. But those week-long stays during the Apollo program did not establish a lasting human presence on the moon. More than 45 years after the most recent crewed moon landing Apollo 17 in December 1972 and there are plenty of reasons to return people to Earth’s giant, dusty satellite and stay there. During the Apollo years NASA’s budget was almost five percent of the federal budget. Now, it’s less than one percent.During the 1960s, many Americans felt the expense of Apollo was justified because of its importance to national security during the cold war. Now some people question whether human space exploration is as valuable. NASA maintains there are a host of good reasons for going back to the moon. “Despite the fiscal challenges and the tough times that we currently are experiencing, we need to go do this because of the economic benefits, because of the positive impact on people in our society,” Olson said. “It truly is a worthy goal.”

    As we all know, the achievement of reaching, landing and walking on the Moon is one of the most exciting adventures, ever. The main reason is funding going to the moon is very expensive.

    NASA gets its money from the United States Congress, and in order to go to the moon again they would need to make a compelling case to Congress as to why the program should be funded. The lunar landings happened in the first place were political the United States wanted to prove to the world that it was better than the Soviet Union, which had previously beaten the U.S. in the space race.

    Consequently, there was a lot of public support for the missions. Eventually, however, the U.S won the race to the moon, went there several times. At the same time, the Cold War was waning and eventually ended, so going to the moon no longer has the same public support and urgency that it once did. In the intervening years, NASA has moved on to focus on other projects, such as the International Space Station and scientifically oriented unmanned missions around the solar system. Going to the moon would either involve shifting money away from these projects or increasing NASA’s budget, neither of which Congress or the American public seems likely to do right now.

    In January 2004, U.S. President George W. Bush proposed sending humans to the Moon again, to build a permanent base, and then on to Mars in the next decades. This program, known as Constellation, was canceled by the next administration and U.S. President Barack Obama rolled out a new vision for NASA’s future in space. Instead of pursuing the set of plans and strategies laid out in Constellation, NASA is now working on the Space Launch System. NASA’s budget is somewhat small relative to its past. NASA’s portion of the federal budget peaked at 4% in 1965. For the past 40 years it has remained below 1%, and for the last 15 years it has been driving toward 0.4% of the federal budget. A 2005 report by NASA estimated that returning to the moon would cost about $104 billion over about 13 years. Even at the height of the Apollo program after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface only 53% of Americans thought the program was worth the cost. Today, 55% of Americans think NASA should make returning to the moon a priority, though only a quarter of those believers think it should be a top priority. But 44% of people surveyed by the poll think sending astronauts back to the moon shouldn’t be done at all.

    Support for crewed Mars exploration is stronger with 63% believing it should be a NASA priority, and 91% of people think scanning the skies for killer asteroids is important.

    If you look at the percent of the federal budget currently being invested in NASA, you will find that you have to go all the way back to 1959, the first full year of NASA’s existence, to encounter a time where we invested less in the agency than we do today. When we chose to go to the Moon, it was accompanied by a tremendous increase in the resources up to nearly 5% of the federal budget.

     

    [armelse] The last time a person visited the moon was in December 1972, during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission. Over the decades, NASA planned to send people back to the moon but has yet to succeed. Astronauts often say the biggest reasons why humans have not returned to the lunar surface are budgetary and political hurdles not scientific or technical challenges.

    Landing 14 people on the moon remains one of NASA’s greatest achievements. Astronauts collected rocks, took photos, performed experiments, planted some flags, and then came home. But those week-long stays during the Apollo program did not establish a lasting human presence on the moon. More than 45 years after the most recent crewed moon landing Apollo 17 in December 1972 and there are plenty of reasons to return people to Earth’s giant, dusty satellite and stay there. During the Apollo years NASA’s budget was almost five percent of the federal budget. Now, it’s less than one percent.During the 1960s, many Americans felt the expense of Apollo was justified because of its importance to national security during the cold war. Now some people question whether human space exploration is as valuable. NASA maintains there are a host of good reasons for going back to the moon. “Despite the fiscal challenges and the tough times that we currently are experiencing, we need to go do this because of the economic benefits, because of the positive impact on people in our society,” Olson said. “It truly is a worthy goal.”

    As we all know, the achievement of reaching, landing……Subscribe to Readmore………

    [/arm_restrict_content]

  • Magic Cabin

  • Previous GIDEON MOI: WORTHY ADVERSARY OR NOT
    Next THE KENYAN AGRIPRENUER AND THE SOLUTIONS IN AGOA

    No Comment

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *