No one has been to the moon in a very long time, and people have been questioning it for years. Why has it been so long, and when will we be going back?
The last time a person actually visited the moon was back in December of 1972, yes over 40 years. While NASA has made plans to go back, they have yet to actually do so. The reason why is because it is expensive and dangerous. While the fact that we can do it is quite prevalent, the doing it again might not be within the realm of possibilities at the moment. Yes, technology has improved but realistically it would be more likely for companies like SpaceX to bring humans back to the moon before NASA does so again.
While NASA’s budget at the moment is about $19.5 billion when everything is split up between the different divisions and projects there isn’t as much left as you’d hope for. Space exploration is not cheap by any means. The proper funding just doesn’t seem to be there. Back in 2005, it was estimated that returning to the moon would cost about $104 billion which is probably much more now.
Business Insider wrote as follows in regards not too long ago as described by a former astronaut:
While NASA’s budget for 2016 is $19.3 billion, the amount of money the organization gets fluctuates from year to year, depending on the amount the president requests for NASA and the amount that Congress actually approves.
When you don’t know what kind of budget to expect from year to year, it makes long-term planning difficult. And when you’re tasked with building and launching spacecraft millions or even billions of miles from Earth, on missions that take several years, long-term planning is pretty critical.
For NASA’s work to be worth it, the funding needs to be there for the duration of each mission — or all the time, money, and research that goes into a given space exploration mission can end up being all for nothing.
This outlining the problem quite clearly. The Apollo mission itself required a 36-story rocket, that was without a doubt not cheap to make. These kinds of things aren’t for repeated use, they don’t just come back down intact or in the same condition, they left in. NASA actually from the 90s to about 2012 ended up wasting billions of canceled projects. It is best that for the time being they focus on the things they can do within their means, right?
For more on this please feel free to check out the video below. What do you think about all of this? I for one hope that in the future another moon mission will be underway.