What, because he killed Apollos 18, 19, and 20?
Don’t get me wrong, it was penny-wise and pound-foolish to cancel those three missions. But another six people on the moon - bfd, in the long run. That’s not why nobody’s been back since.
What surprises me is that with all the technologically capable nations in the world, nobody else has gone there in all this time. You’d think the Chinese or somebody would go there, just to show they can.
The other thing that surprises me is the price tags put on an American return to the moon. This is a solved problem. It’s not like we’ve got to figure everything out from scratch; we already know what works. We don’t have to send up Ranger and Surveyor missions to see the moon up close; we’ve already mapped that sucker. We already know how to build a Saturn V booster rocket and an Apollo space capsule and a LEM. Plus we’ve got 45 years of off-the-shelf technology advances. The notion that it would take hundreds of billions of dollars to get back to the moon seems crazy.
Mars and beyond, OTOH…if we can’t even get back to the moon, why bother talking about Mars? And besides, robots do space really well. Vacuum and cold and cosmic radiation just don’t bother them, but they kill us. Just about all of the cost of manned space flight is the cost of keeping intact that bubble of safety that enables astronauts to keep on living and breathing while outside the Earth’s atmosphere. Robots don’t need that bubble. Robots and space are perfect for each other.