Jeff Greason of XCOR Aerospace notes that:
29 years ago today, the Apollo 17 mission left the Moon.
We have not been back since. Barring a miracle, the 30th anniversary of the event will pass in similar condition.
No special call to action — but every year, about this time, I note the anniversary. It would be nice if we could arrange some kind of formal observance for the 30th anniversary, although I don’t know what. Ceremonially bury a Saturn V model? Burn Nixon in effigy? I don’t know…
Well, actually the decision had already been made (by the Johnson Administration) by the time he took office, though of course, he could have reversed it. But there was no public support for further Apollo missions, let alone a lunar base. We had beaten the Russians, which was the only reason that NASA got the money to go to the Moon.
Ultimately, when we return to the Moon, it will be because there’s a profit to be made. Jeff and his team, and others, are following that path, which will, in the long run, be a more effective means of opening up space than waiting in futility for a visionary president, particularly given the fickleness of politics.