Why would we go to the Moon again ?

I found it interesting to read the recent comments of an American presidential candidate talking on his views to re-visiting the Moon. For someone who may be confident about his chances of becoming the next President has he forgotten the World (in particular America) is still in deep recession. And whilst I myself am a space travel enthusiast I do recall that America has already stepped up to that challenge, been there ! and brought back some space rock samples already on six separate occasions. Not only that Space Shuttle has come to an end, job losses have been made at NASA and Astronauts are looking to use their skills elsewhere ! Or have I missed something ?

Whilst we have the technology to get there faster and safer than before, it is 40 years since man traveled into deep space opting for more regular excursions via Space Shuttle. Any project to revisit the Lunar surface does not have to involve America unless it is for a particular purpose and justification of budget. Other countries such as China who have hinted this may be a possibility for them would of course create another huge public interest in space exploration. I for one would love to see more deep space travel to further planets, but not to the Moon as a first choice. The Moon would have to serve a purpose for long term trips with a permanent base for study purposes. Think about the cost of getting Apollo 11 to the moon? It took three space programs of research , Mercury, Gemini and Apollo which gave Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin only 2 hours 31 minutes on the lunar surface traversing the surface by 250 metres collecting 21.7 kilograms of rock.

Any Moon project that is worthy of attempting will have to in my opinion look at the benefits of what the Moon can offer, and I believe that will only come from a more permanent study base which will reduce the cost of repeat visits. Only 18 Astronauts have ever been involved in successful missions to the Moon, but it has taken thousands of people to get them there.Finally, it is healthy to have visions of reaching what seems the unreachable, but maybe the bottom line is to be thankful that these visions have already been achieved.. Gary Royston Cole  (March 2012)


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