# Irony in the space program

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#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
I think this is ironic. When NASA was created the people that helped get man to the moon had no background in space travel. They had to invent things as they went. Sure they had backgrounds in science, math, and aeronautics but beyond that no one knew how to put a man in space let along the moon. NASA was founded in 1958 and in just 11 years they landed a man on the moon. Now days people are groomed from a young age to grow up and become scientist and engineers and so since 1972 man has not been back to the moon. Technology has come a long way since 1972 but the saddest thing is we have not been back to the moon. I just think that it is ironic. What is most sad is the pioneers are slowly dieing away. My fear is those who originally put man on the moon will never see man land on the moon again.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
It's fairly straightforward. Give NASA the inflation-equivalent budget to disguise an ICBM R&D race as a civilian science expedition. We'll be back in a jiffy.

#### MClark

##### Well-Known Member
The Aliens told us not to go back.

M

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Until someone figures out how to benefit from going back, we will not.
It was a space race back then. And in the process they brought back enough rocks and dust to figure out that our moon came from a large collision with Earth.
The moon dust itself is very abrasive and sticks to everything. A rover like that was sent to mars would not last long.
Russia sent a rover to the moon and it failed in a very short time. Not knowing exactly what went wrong, they theorized the dust got into the unit and caused damage.
I suspect in the distant future they may be base of some sort put on the moon for a way station, once they over come the dust issue.
Near site is on Mars, as dead as the moon. Yet they are driven to go there because it's the next stepping stone in space exploration.
And Scientists want to know what happened to it as they theorize it was once like Earth. Who knows what they will find on Mars.

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
All good points.

What I think going back to the moon is strictly for human exploration and to expand the human race. It should not be for financial gain. Going to the moon is for gaining knowledge for the Human race. Going to back to the moon with the premise of making money is a bad bad idea. That is fine and all on Earth but on the moon and Mars its for exploration and the understanding of the universe.

For this reason I dont it will fly with the people signing the checks for NASA. We are in this situation because of politicians not because of NASA itself. NASA has worked within the budget they have been given.

#### GlenP

##### Well-Known Member
We have not been back to the moon, but we have made many advancements in microgravity and space research on the International Space Station.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station
"The station has been continuously occupied for 16 years and 171 days since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. This is the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by Mir. "

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
And in the process they brought back enough rocks and dust to figure out that our moon came from a large collision with Earth.
Still seems to be some question about that in academic circles; apparently the science remains a bit unsettled.
http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/Dec98/OriginEarthMoon.html
Although not proven to everyone's satisfaction, the giant impact hypothesis explains a lot about the Earth and Moon.
Hmm, okay, so who are the people approving of that remaining on the website since 1998 and added new reference in 2014? They got any street cred?
Development, operation, content, and overall editorial management of the PSRD website are provided by cofounders G. Jeffrey Taylor and Linda M.V. Martel. We are planetary geoscientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawai'i at M&#257;noa (UH).
Jeff Taylor is the recipient of the 2008 Carl Sagan Medal awarded by the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Societyfor excellence in public communication of planetary science. See the SOEST Press Release for more details about this wonderful honor.
Jeff also received the 2011 Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award, presented by the NASA Lunar Science Institutein recognition of his significant scientific contributions and leadership roles. Read more about his views on science and career advice in Jeff's Q&A with NASA's Solar System Exploration.
Jeff and Ron Fodor are coauthors of IMPACT! a Kindle eBook novel that tells a story centering around the threat of a big Earth-crossing asteroid that is heading right at us. "
Twins, eh? https://www.earth.ox.ac.uk/research-groups/cosmotope/origin-of-the-moon/
The most widely accepted current theory for the Origin of the Moon is that the proto-Earth was struck by another planet and that this Giant Impact provided a debris disk from which the Moon-forming material condensed and accreted. However, there are difficulties in reconciling this with the dynamical requirements of computer simulations of the Giant Impact.

There is growing evidence indicating that the Moon is the Earths isotopic twin, therefore from an isotopic perspective the material that formed the Moon appears to have been derived from the Earth. Vanadium is a particularly attractive element to use to address this problem since it is refractory, moderately incompatible and can exist in multiple valence states.
What the heck is the National Institutes of Health doing featuring papers about our moon's formation?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4128275/
National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
... In all these computer simulations, the angular momentum (4 above) is generated by the impact itself, Theia striking Earth with a glancing blow. In these simulations, the material forming the Moon is mostly derived from Theia. This feature of successful Giant Impact simulations has been the hardest to reconcile with geochemical data. The fact that the isotopic compositions of silicate Earth and Moon are so similar despite evidence that other objects are different provides evidence that either: ...

Determining which of these models is correct is crucial to understanding, not just the formation of the Moon itself, but also the conditions under which terrestrial planets more generally accreted. Each of these suggested resolutions has its difficulties. The first is not readily reconciled with the current accretion models. The second relies on a resonance that may only work for a narrow range of tidal parameters and the third relies on an unlikely high efficiency of mixing (in particular, between the interior of the Earth and the moon-forming disc).

In understanding the Moon's origin and early development, a number of other issues need to be addressed.

First, we do not know the composition of the Moon very well.
...

#### TRFfan

##### Well-Known Member
Nasa's budget has gone down alot of the 1960s. It was a compititon with the soviets then and one of the major focuses of the US in that time. Now it isnt.

#### DavidMcCann

##### Well-Known Member
There's a reason they canceled the last couple trips way back in that day - it's interesting. It's cool, but ultimately, going to the moon was pointless.

#### EXPjawa

##### Well-Known Member
Its also worth pointing out that though NASA was formed in '58, it didn't simply appear all formed and ready to go to space. NASA superseded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), which had its roots prior to WWI. So, its not like they went from nothing to the moon in 11 years; much of the program built on structure and research that NACA already put in place.

The points regarding advancement of tech since the '70s is valid. I was initially a bit disappointed that when NASA unveiled the new SLS and Orion, that it was basically (in very general terms) an updated version of the hardware configurations used in the '60s and '70s. As a kid, I'd envisioned whatever replaced the Space Shuttle would much more advanced, and sci-fi like. Obviously, that doesn't account for the realities of design. I'm pretty sure that George Lucas messed with my perceptions of what spacecraft should be. As it turns out, that capsule configuration does the job well, and though the Space Shuttle looked cooler, but wasn't much more than a short range Space Truck. That's where I see irony.

Talk of going back to the moon is great and all, but without political or financial motivation, why would anyone undertake the costs associated with it? Yes, we can point to all of the tech that was invented as a result of doing it last time, and the impact that all of that had. But that was secondary to the original goal. Necessity may be the mother of invention, but you have to have that need to make it happen. So, while going back to the moon for exploration and educational purposed sounds grand, we haven't done that because no one has fronted the costs. And they won't unless there's a profit to be made - unless someone happens to come along that is willing to privately fund it all just because he can. But that individual will probably die poor...

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
If I was so wealthy that I could fund it I would. Its who I am. I would fund it simply for the further existence of the human race. Knowledge is power. I would not expect any profit from it. My satisfaction would be education and furthering mankind. I think if more people thought like me this would be more plausible. What Musk is doing at SpaceX is great but at the end of the day it is a business for him and he wants to make money.

#### Steven

The REAL reason for going to the moon was to simply beat the only other super power on earth to it and that of course was Russia. Until we find impetus to push forward with an identical agenda, space travel beyond low earth orbit has lost it's momentum. Another reason is if there ever will be another attempt, it will no longer be relegated to mere hop, skip and jump missions. We will be shooting for extended stays of months if not years on the surface of the moon. This requires new technologies to be found that will enable us to make water from the moon's natural environment, our own oxygen, food and energy probably along with some kind of shielding from the sun's rays just to mention a few.
I understand the technology is there presently. What NASA lacks is funding.

#### Marc_G

##### Well-Known Member
I would happily give up any plans and funding in the next 20 years for manned space programs beyond LEO (so, no moon or Mars missions) in exchange for a well funded program of small explorer bots to do thorough exploration of interesting sites (Mars, moon, Jupiter moons, asteroids...).

Let's face it. Colonizing Mars would require long term terraforming. I want to learn about Mars, not live there. A few hundred scattered crawler bots with cameras and assorted sensors, deployed en masse relatively cheaply, could do the job better than a suicide mission by humans.

Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk

#### iqsy59

##### Well-Known Member
What might we learn from visiting the moon that we don't already know?

I would like to see research into using low earth orbit for affordable global travel. Flying to the other side of the world in 1/20 the amount of time sounds very appealing!

Cheers,
Michael

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
Our first steps into a larger world is returning to the moon and setting up a moon base. There are countless benefit to living on the moon. Its a lily pad to go to Mars. Better at spotting near Earth objects. Haveing a second heavenly body for mankind to live on in case of the unthinkable happens on Earth.

Low Earth orbit has been beaten to death with the shuttle and International Space Station. The whole issue is funding, limited to no funding puts a stop to all of it. Until humanity realizes money is not everything and simply decide to go back simply for the Human condition then it pains me to say that we will never return.

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
I understand the financial burden and the risk to humans. I bet if everyone's 12 year old self met them right now the 12 year old would kick all of our butts for not shooting for the stars and going for gold. The risk is worth it in my book.

I have a family; wife and kid. If Nasa, ect... came to me and ask if I wanted to go to the Moon or Mars I would say heck yea. On one condition. If something happened to me my family would be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Its about the exploration that awaits.

#### Bat-mite

##### Rocketeer in MD
I understand the financial burden and the risk to humans. I bet if everyone's 12 year old self met them right now the 12 year old would kick all of our butts for not shooting for the stars and going for gold. The risk is worth it in my book.

I have a family; wife and kid. If Nasa, ect... came to me and ask if I wanted to go to the Moon or Mars I would say heck yea. On one condition. If something happened to me my family would be taken care of for the rest of their lives. Its about the exploration that awaits.
Soldiers injured or killed in war don't get their families taken care of for the rest of their lives, so why would astronauts? (I'm not saying that's how it should be, just saying how it is).

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
Soldiers injured or killed in war don't get their families taken care of for the rest of their lives, so why would astronauts? (I'm not saying that's how it should be, just saying how it is).
You are right. I am saying is that it is a condition I would have. Probably would not happen.

#### boatgeek

##### Well-Known Member
Our first steps into a larger world is returning to the moon and setting up a moon base. There are countless benefit to living on the moon. Its a lily pad to go to Mars. Better at spotting near Earth objects. Haveing a second heavenly body for mankind to live on in case of the unthinkable happens on Earth.

Low Earth orbit has been beaten to death with the shuttle and International Space Station. The whole issue is funding, limited to no funding puts a stop to all of it. Until humanity realizes money is not everything and simply decide to go back simply for the Human condition then it pains me to say that we will never return.
Absent a century/centuries-long terraforming exercise, Mars won't be human-habitable without support from Earth. The moon will never be human-habitable without support from Earth. While I'm not saying that we shouldn't go there or even that we shouldn't do terraforming, we shouldn't expect that this is a serious backup plan for the human species.

Also, if we're looking at a moon base, the cost of building and maintaining are astronomical. Here's a rough approximation, based on units of Falcon Heavy payloads (~20,000 kg) at about $200M per (guessing$120M for the rocket, $80M for the stuff it's carrying). I'm guessing that I'm within an order of magnitude, but probably low. Building a base for ~25 people: The ISS took 40 space shuttle loads to build, supporting 6-9 people. The shuttle carried about the same amount of stuff as the FH to the moon, so let's say about 50-100 flights. Cost:$10-$20 billion Design and engineering: Land side, this is about 20%-30% of a building's cost. Let's go with the high end and say$3-6B
Management, planning, etc.: Everyone hates this number, but there's no way to build a project without it. Probably $5B One time costs:$18-31 billion
Resupply: The space station gets about 20,000 kg of stuff per year to support 6 people. This gives us 4 or so FH flights/year for stuff, plus some crew transportation. Let's say 6 flights a year, or $1.2B/year Ground costs, administration, etc.:$1.2B/year
With repair and other miscellaneous costs, we're looking at about $3-5 billion per year all up. Just so we can look at the scale of this, you're looking at a program that costs about the same amount per year to maintain as the National Parks system, not even counting the one-time costs for construction. Let's be real. Our elected representatives don't have the will to fund something like this because it would be awesome. It's really hard to raise taxes,and it's really hard to cut programs. Congresscritters definitely won't take away funding from stuff that affects their constituents to fund something they can't see. Why would they? This isn't going to happen unless someone can either make money on it or an extremely wealthy private sector individual decides to make it happen. #### ColumbiaNX01 ##### Red blooded white American male Absent a century/centuries-long terraforming exercise, Mars won't be human-habitable without support from Earth. The moon will never be human-habitable without support from Earth. While I'm not saying that we shouldn't go there or even that we shouldn't do terraforming, we shouldn't expect that this is a serious backup plan for the human species. Also, if we're looking at a moon base, the cost of building and maintaining are astronomical. Here's a rough approximation, based on units of Falcon Heavy payloads (~20,000 kg) at about$200M per (guessing $120M for the rocket,$80M for the stuff it's carrying). I'm guessing that I'm within an order of magnitude, but probably low.

Building a base for ~25 people: The ISS took 40 space shuttle loads to build, supporting 6-9 people. The shuttle carried about the same amount of stuff as the FH to the moon, so let's say about 50-100 flights. Cost: $10-$20 billion
Design and engineering: Land side, this is about 20%-30% of a building's cost. Let's go with the high end and say $3-6B Management, planning, etc.: Everyone hates this number, but there's no way to build a project without it. Probably$5B

One time costs: $18-31 billion Resupply: The space station gets about 20,000 kg of stuff per year to support 6 people. This gives us 4 or so FH flights/year for stuff, plus some crew transportation. Let's say 6 flights a year, or$1.2B/year
Ground costs, administration, etc.: $1.2B/year With repair and other miscellaneous costs, we're looking at about$3-5 billion per year all up.

Just so we can look at the scale of this, you're looking at a program that costs about the same amount per year to maintain as the National Parks system, not even counting the one-time costs for construction. Let's be real. Our elected representatives don't have the will to fund something like this because it would be awesome. It's really hard to raise taxes,and it's really hard to cut programs. Congresscritters definitely won't take away funding from stuff that affects their constituents to fund something they can't see. Why would they? This isn't going to happen unless someone can either make money on it or an extremely wealthy private sector individual decides to make it happen.

To me the money does not matter. For me its not about money. Its the exploration. I know I am in the minority on that. Yes, I know in todays world it will take so much money to accomplish. What i am saying it does not have to.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
Robots go first & build the mine & factory. More robots next to build the base. Humans after to do the robots can't stuff.

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
We could be on Mars by 2020 if we devoted a WWII-Manhattan Project budget to getting it done.

This will not happen. This country has a growing percentage of people who do not want to pay no taxes, for nuthin, period.

They wouldn't raise taxes 10 bucks if NASA detected a mile wide asteroid on course to collide with Earth in 18 months, so they're sure as hell not going to support billions for going to Mars.

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
We could be on Mars by 2020 if we devoted a WWII-Manhattan Project budget to getting it done.

This will not happen. This country has a growing percentage of people who do not want to pay no taxes, for nuthin, period.

They wouldn't raise taxes 10 bucks if NASA detected a mile wide asteroid on course to collide with Earth in 18 months, so they're sure as hell not going to support billions for going to Mars.
U said it perfectly.

#### captbk

##### Well-Known Member
Robots go first & build the mine & factory. More robots next to build the base. Humans after to do the robots can't stuff.
I agree. Send robots not people. The moon and Mars are just dead rocks anyway. Manned space exploration is a waste of taxpayers money. It proves nothing.

#### Steven

As I stated, it's all about funding.

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
Okay, but what about ironing in the space program?

#### CaptainVideo

##### Well-Known Member
You needn't look any further than the space shuttle for why manned exploration petered out. The shuttle program was 30 years of suborbital masturbation with an enormous budget that left little room for anything else. Even for the probe advocates, there could have been far more of those launched without the bloated shuttle budget.
As for the moon, the dark side would be the perfect spot for a telescope. The moon has almost no atmosphere, and there would not be an issue of orbital decay. It would cost more to build, but I think in the end you would get more as far as sustainability.

#### Steven

You needn't look any further than the space shuttle for why manned exploration petered out. The shuttle program was 30 years of suborbital masturbation with an enormous budget that left little room for anything else. Even for the probe advocates, there could have been far more of those launched without the bloated shuttle budget.
As for the moon, the dark side would be the perfect spot for a telescope. The moon has almost no atmosphere, and there would not be an issue of orbital decay. It would cost more to build, but I think in the end you would get more as far as sustainability.
I too thought the shuttle was long past it's usefulness and eventually turned into a white elephant that brought little more about as the years flew by. Still stuck in low earth orbit after all these years.

#### ColumbiaNX01

##### Red blooded white American male
Okay, but what about ironing in the space program?

When we went to the moon we had less and now with more NASA does nothing. I am referring to technology. They also did with less money. In 1969 the NASA budget was 2.31% of the overall budget of the government. In 2016 it was 0.50%. Can you emagine what NASA could do today with just 1%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA

#### RocketFeller

##### Well-Known Member
When we went to the moon we had less and now with more NASA does nothing. I am referring to technology. They also did with less money. In 1969 the NASA budget was 2.31% of the overall budget of the government. In 2016 it was 0.50%. Can you emagine what NASA could do today with just 1%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA
I'm not following your math. It appears that you are saying that 1969 NASA went to the moon with less money than today's NASA receives. However, you then point out that 1969 NASA received 2.31% of the total budget, about 4.6x more than 2016 NASA received.