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kevbo's avatar

Was it a good idea to cancel NASA's manned moon mission program so that NASA could focus on other priorities such as a manned moon mission?

Asked by kevbo (25603points) March 2nd, 2010



And, darn the luck, the decision had to come a month before an announcement of about 158 billion gallons of water locked up in ice on the moon’s surface.

I wonder if we could put man back on the moon if we spent the entire planet’s GDP like we did during Apollo. It’s just a shame we lost all of that manned moon mission technology during the Cold War.

Or maybe we could just go to Mars, since that is easier.

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15 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

Do you mean Mars?

kevbo's avatar

@AstroChuck, the headline for my first link is “NASA grieves over canceled program
Administrator says end of moon program is like ‘death in the family’”. The headline for my second link is “Obama Budget Scraps NASA Moon Plan for ‘21st Century Space Program’”.

If you click on the links, it will automagically take you to the relevant articles. ;-)

lilikoi's avatar

I thought it was funny that Wired said “Water Ice” in their title, as though the definition of ice extended to frozen fluids other than water. I think when sums of money like we see here are involved, there are all kinds of underground politics going on beyond what people like us see. I am pretty neutral. Space exploration is not a bad thing, but there sure is a lot we don’t understand on our own planet.

Perhaps if we didn’t feel the need to bail out corporate America like some kind of pansy socialist nation, we could still afford NASA.

AstroChuck's avatar

Then I don’t get the wording of the question.

kevbo's avatar

“The committee submitted several options for the president, which included embracing commercially built spacecraft and pushing aside NASA’s current spaceflight plan for bolder expeditions to the moon, asteroids or Mars.”

See, we’re canceling the manned moon program to pave the way for a bolder manned expedition to the moon.

Cruiser's avatar

It is a necessary move to lighten the budgetary load of a dinosaur space program. Cutting the Nasa run government funded Constellation program opens the door for commercial entities to commit their resources to their innovations towards a commercial profit strategy which Nasa will be able to piggy back their programs and goals. Obama got this one right.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

By the time we get back to the moon, the astronauts will need a Chinese visa.

laureth's avatar

“Ice” can mean other things besides water that are frozen, such as methane ice or ammonia ice – hence the need to clarify that this ice is merely frozen water.

AstroChuck's avatar

@laureth- The LCROSS spacecraft verified last year that there is water ice on the moon.

laureth's avatar

@AstroChuck – Yes, I agree. However, @lilikoi said, “I thought it was funny that Wired said “Water Ice” in their title, as though the definition of ice extended to frozen fluids other than water.” It does, is my point.

AstroChuck's avatar

Ah. Sorry.

kevbo's avatar

@Cruiser, yeah, but the iSpaceship battery only lasts 5 hours and costs twice as much as the unwieldy Spaceship Vista.

filmfann's avatar

We will be back to the moon, and set up a manned moon station, as soon as we figure out the best way to use the moon’s ample helium-3 supply in fusion reactors.

misterx's avatar

Cancelling the moon mission was an ignorant decision. They say the decision is about money and stating that there is no point in going to the moon. First there are much larger places for government waste as the space program is less than ½ of 1 percent of the entire federal budget. Next it has been 20 some years since NASA has developed and brought to fruition a new spaceship. The space shuttle was an amazing feat in it’s day but is an aged ship. The moon project has numerous major benefits. First it gives us a defined goal of something to achieve something that has been missing for far too long. Second new technologies developed will not only benefit continued space exploration but us on earth. Third the moon project would allow for a staging area and practice/preparation for further exploration to new planets like Mars and beyond. It is human nature and our prerogative to work to achieve such feats, to push the limit of human achievement. Finally it is my personal opinion that in this troubled economy when the government is pushing for more jobs, giving up 20,000 in central Florida alone when the overall project has added benefits in itself is VERY unwise and hypocritical.

lillycoyote's avatar

@lilikoi I thought it was pretty damn funny too: Millions of Tons of Water Ice Found at Moon’s North Pole. That’s obviously a sign of intelligent-extra terrestrial life. There’s plenty of time for the science after I stop laughing. They didn’t mention what flavor or flavors the water ice was. I hope it’s lemon, that’s the most refreshing on a hot summer day in my opinion, but cherry or grape would be o.k. too.

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