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Visits to the moon

  1. Mar 22, 2003 #1

    Kerrie

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    Why haven't we been to the moon in recent years?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2003 #2

    drag

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    Greetings !
    Nope. But we most certainly should
    establish a moon base.

    Live long and prosper.
     
  4. Mar 22, 2003 #3
    I think it's because the "Golden Age" is gone, and we're once again caught up with the realities of life, eg. Gulf War II.

    Besides NASA is having funding problems now.
     
  5. Mar 23, 2003 #4

    LURCH

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    I think that that is the main reason, although I don't think either of the Gulf Wars has had all that much affect. Ironically, I think the downfall of the American space program is directly tied to the downfall of the Soviet Union. Without the their competition, we have lost our enthusiasm and drive.
     
  6. Mar 23, 2003 #5
    I agree that the down-fall of the Soviet Union has meant America does not have any remaining super-powers to compete. The main reason America pretended to land people on the moon on the late 1960s was because it had become essential to be seen to win the space race against the russians. Appearing to do so was a massive confidence boost in the cold war and gave a huge boost to the US economy and US technological inovation and investment.

    However, in reality NASA had estimated in the mid-to-late '60s that the chance of successfully landing humans on the moon and returning them to Earth safely was around 0.05%. NASA had fallen behind the Soviet Union in terms of progress in the space race, who had beaten the Americans in feats such as the first manned space flight. NASA was also sufferring from massive levels of management problems and inefficiencies at this time. But then suddenly we are meant to believe that in the space of a few years they managed to "pull a moon landing out of their hat". Unlikely.

    The is a lots of evidence to support that fact that the film footage of the astronoughts on the moon surface was a studio fake. There are lots of impossible errors in the detail. For example, in one of the most well known photos you see one of the astronoughts standing on the surface with the sun rising behind him, yet YOU CAN SEE THE DETAIL ON THE FRONT OF HIS SPACE SUIT. Even with lots of very good "fill-in lights" (which they obviously did not take to the moon) the figure should have been just a sillouette with such as strong light source behind him, regardless of what exposure-speed gilms was in the cameras....

    ....Cameras which incedentally did not have any kind of radio or magnetic shielding, so when exposed the the huge amounts of solar radiation on the moon (without the protection of Earths atmosphere) the camera films should have been rendered useless within seconds. It's also worth noting that the space-suit designs used in 1969 also did not have any kind of shielding, so walking on the surface of the moon should have quickly proved fatal for the astronoughts.

    There are also inconsistencies with the physics seen on the moon-landing footage. In the first 1969 footage we are all familiar with the apparent low gravity "slow motion" movement effect (looks a bit like talking big steps/jumps while moving through treacle). Critics quickly observed this to be incorrect, which is why in the second moon landing footage NASA corrected this by showing astronoughts able to move/run/jump quickly in low gravity with not resistance.

    So to answer your original question, I don't think people have ever walked on the moon, but ironically I think we're now getting fairly close to a point when a moon-landing is looking technologically feasible and within an acceptable level of risk. Unfortunately I would expect (certainly in todays world financial climate) that it would be prohibitively expesive to do.
     
  7. Mar 23, 2003 #6

    enigma

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    Oh, brother....

    Another one.

    Uh huh... BS. Find me a single report from NASA which said that.

    No, I don't think so. The Soviets didn't have a working rocket which could take their crews to the moon and back. They were close, but then had two catastrophic failures on their test rockets. Since Soviet space doctrine forbid them from launching humans unless they had two successful flights, they lost the race.

    The reason we were behind was because we were focusing on different projects. That being the X-15

    Get your facts straight.

    All of which have been debunked. Many times. Damn that Fox TV for dumbing down the intelligence of the world.

    Bad Astronomy

    Fox's Flapdoodle

    Go out during a night with a full moon with a friend. Can you see the friend's face?

    There are THREE sources of light. Not just one! The sun, you mentioned. The Earth is another. The moon itself is the third one.

    BS. Find me the specs of those cameras to prove your crap assertion, please.

    Yet more BS. Find me the specs of those space-suits to prove your crap assertion, please.

    The only way to have a secret between three people is if two of them are dead.

    To make the insinuation that over 200,000 scientists, engineers, manufacturers, astronauts, ground crew, etc. are all involved in some massive coverup is assinine in the extreme.
     
  8. Mar 24, 2003 #7

    russ_watters

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    www.badastronomy.com

    Oh, and the answer to the question in the beginning of the thread is simple: MONEY. If it were cheap we'd build vacation homes there.
     
  9. Mar 24, 2003 #8

    Njorl

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    Come up with a good way to make money by going to the moon and there will soon be a McDonald's, a Holiday Inn and two 7-11's there.

    Njorl
     
  10. Mar 24, 2003 #9

    Phobos

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    [mentor hat on]
    I would prefer that the moon-hoax debate be carried out in another topic. Please reserve this topic for Kerrie's question.

    Moon hoax...man, I hate Fox TV.
    [mentor hat off]

    Kerrie - The space race of the '60s was politically inspired (Cold War politics - - a display of technological, economic, and military power - - military because of the ability to launch large rockets reliably which could also be used to carry nukes). Once we won that race, there was no political reason/will to keep funding that huge (expensive) effort. There was some science done (NASA was staffed by scientists and engineers), but that was not the motivating force.

    A return to the Moon would need new inspiration. (1) Science - - nothing there to justify the huge expense so far (2) economics - - maybe mining or recreation...but it's still too expensive. But, other countries are starting to aim for the Moon, so maybe that will re-inspire the US. I hope so. (3) Land - - space travel & colonization would have to become REAL CHEAP before that is a reality.

    Have I mentioned that I think the moon hoax claims are bunk?:wink:
     
  11. Mar 24, 2003 #10

    Phobos

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    p.s. Use enigma's link to the Bad Astronomy site for the debunking of the moon hoax claims. (it's a direct link to the article whereas Russ's link is to the general main page...which is worthwhile in and of itself of course)
     
  12. Mar 25, 2003 #11
    I think they did go to the moon, but there was a lot of doctoring of photos and so on for the media.

    Why would we want to to to the moon anymore? It's too expensive, too dangerous, and what exactly do we get out of it.

    "Look at me, I was on the MOON!!"

    "And....?"

    "I brought back this rock."

    "Terrific. No death ray installations. No anti-communist alien messages. Nothing. Switch it back to the Superbowl."
     
  13. Mar 25, 2003 #12

    LURCH

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    LOL!

    A song by Larry Norman:

    "We're lookin' for some answers,
    We need to find salvation'
    So we sent some people to the moon,
    To gather information!

    They brought back a big bag o' rocks...

    Only cost about nine billion...

    Must be nice rocks"

    Even while the space race was going on, there were people who objected that we should be concentrating on solving our many problems here on arth first. Now, with no-one to "beat" by getting there first, we just don't have the motivation. Kind of a possitive side to this is when you realise that just 100 years ago human flight was a known impossibilitym, and today we need a reason to go to the Moon other than just "because it's there"; it just doesn't provide enough of a challenge anymore!

    However, if we're going to go to Mars, or any further into space, we will be retuening to the Moon soon. It's a much better and cheaper launch platform.
     
  14. Mar 26, 2003 #13
    I disagree. High Earth Orbit is a much better and cheaper launch platform than the moon. Why fly and land parts on the moon, then assemble and launch a craft from the moon where you have to break out of lunar gravity as well as the earth when you can just break out of earth gravity? It sounds to me like a waste of time and fuel. Pretty low gravity in high earth orbit, relatively speaking.
     
  15. Mar 26, 2003 #14

    Janus

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    To go back to the moon, we would need some purpose other than that which drove the Apollo missions. Remember, As others have mentioned Apollo was basically a race, and in a race you want the quickest way to get to the moon, not the best.

    The entire Apollo project was designed around that one purpose; Land a man on the moon, and bring him back safely, within the shortest possible time span(and if you can do some science while you're there, so much the better). It was not designed as part of a sustained moon presence.

    A program designed as part of a sustained lumar presence would have taken a lot longer to develop, but would have left an infrastructure which would have made successive lunar trips more economical. A larger initial investment, that pays off over the long term.

    If we go back to the Moon, there is little sense in doing it the Apollo way (Been there, done that). If we go back, it will most likely be to establish a presence, Which means taking the second road. And at present, I just don't see the support for commiting to such a long term project.
     
  16. Mar 26, 2003 #15

    Phobos

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    They are! :smile:

    Oh, it's still a huge challange. But like you say, there needs to be a new motivation for doing it. Maybe China's and India's new space race (which may include an eventual moon-shot) will re-inspire us. Maybe after we finish our war-time efforts.

    I think it would only be cheaper if (1) we were able to utilize the moon's resources for something (fuel, etc.) and (2) we had a LONG term program set up. Like J-man said, a shot from Earth or Earth orbit would probably be cheaper for a quick trip to Mars. Sustained colonization of Mars might make the Moon look more appealing though.
     
  17. Mar 26, 2003 #16

    LURCH

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    Yes, that is what I meant (using the Moon's resources). That whole hubbub a couple years ago about finding evidence of water ice on the Moon, one of the main reasons that was important was because it meant we could produce rocket fuel. I don't remember the exact number, but whenever we launched an Apollo mission, somewhere around 80-90% of the takeoff weight of the vehicle was fuel. And we can't do much better today. If we can produce the fuel on the Lunar surface, it will be much easier to launch from there.
     
  18. Mar 27, 2003 #17
    There's not much of a market for green cheese:wink:. Blue cheese has lost popularity as well... cest la vest .

    The trips to the moon were very costly. The rewards were minimal. Science did benefit and as a population we were lifted out of a kind of tunnel of ignorance with regard to earth vs the rest of the universe.

    But as far as gaining an advantage in terms of information or technology... the best seller out of the enterprise was the Bic Pen and some photo albums.

    Funding for another manned trip could come from an aggressive marketing campain... but I don't know if NASA has time for that. Lobbying for certain, unmanned scientific explorations is tough enough. The shuttle has proven itself as a good delivery and recovery program for satellites and the international space station and it gets funding in that regard.

    There are probably other reasons, too. But these came to mind.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2003
  19. Apr 1, 2003 #18

    Phobos

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  20. Apr 1, 2003 #19

    drag

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    Great ! Now all I have to do is figure out
    how I can get some rocks from my 1,400 dunams
    on the Moon and steal the whole market.
    But, then I'll crush the market and the
    prices will fall... :frown:
    Aah... Economics...

    Live long and prosper.
     
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