Why it’s better than Apollo.
For one thing, it’s more sustainable. And it will accomplish much more. Whenever kids (i.e., people less than 50) tell me they envy me that I saw men walk on the moon, I tell them that I envy them for all the much more exciting things in space they’ll see (assuming that we don’t get life extension).
While I think that we could do a lunar return for far less than NASA estimates, if allowed to do so without having to use SLS/Orion, or the Gateway, I certainly agree with the second point that Wayne Hale (new head of the NASA Advisory Council) makes, as he takes more than one page from my book.
There are a bunch of new ones out as part of the fiftieth anniversary. Here’s a list (including some old classics as well).
A bill has been introduced in the Senate, by Ted Cruz and Gary Peters, to preserve them. For All Moonkind has been working on this for a while. It would only protect the sites from Americans, but we need to make this into a multilateral agreement.
[And yes, link is fixed now]
My op-ed on one-way trips to the Moon is up at Space News.
[Update a few minutes later]
Related: Can Trump put people on the moon by 2024? It seems unlikely under current political circumstances.
Bob Zimmerman says it’s time for it to die.
Yes, the bureaucrats are pretending that it’s a required part of returning to the moon when, as Bob Zubrin has pointed out it’s a toll booth at best, and a likely roadblock, and there has been no public debate about its necessity.
There’s an article at Popular Mechanics, but the picture it has of Gerard O’Neill isn’t. Not positive, but I’m pretty sure it’s Brian O’Leary.
I don’t usually post from Facebook, but Jeff Greason has an interesting/depressing thought:
In the Star Trek episode “Tomorrow is Yesterday”, Kirk is told “I’m going to lock you up for two hundred years”. He looks at the camera (very nearly breaking the fourth wall), and says “that ought to be just about right” — in other words, telling the viewer that Star Trek is set about 200 years in the future.
That episode was filmed in 1968.
That was 50 years ago.
Somehow, I don’t feel we’ve made 1/4 of the progress from Apollo to Star Trek
As Mike Heney points out over there, we haven’t even made a quarter of the progress from Apollo back to Apollo.
A nice essay at the New Yorker (though it quotes an “historian” as saying that Nixon “killed Apollo.” Johnson did, and Kennedy probably would have, if he hadn’t been assassinated first).
Looks like the landing failed. Or at least the landing wasn’t soft. It probably left a long trench.
Great effort, though. Just getting into lunar orbit on the first attempt was a huge success; JPL missed the moon completely with several of the Ranger attempts. I hope they’re funded to try again.