Man on the moon

if we actually did put a man on the moon,why havent we or any other country been back?

Because it is very expensive. At this point the only reason to go again is to bring something back. That would be two or three hundred times as expensive as just going there and leaving most of what it took to get there just lying around. Near as we can tell there is nothing up there we can’t get here.

<p align=“center”>Tris</p>

A couple of years ago a NASA official said that if we decided to go back to the moon today, it would take us longer than the time it took from Kennedy’s original speech till Apollo 11. We don’t have the heavy-lift rockets, our man-rating standards are much more stringent, and stuff costs a lot more now.

Gravity wells make it basically economically infeasible to take resources from the moon and use them on earth, given that we have to get the stuff TO the moon that would harvest the minerals there. So far as I know, nothing was found on the moon we need that desperately anyway, and the lack of water makes living there difficult.

Frankly, the only reason we went there in the first place was to keep the Soviets from saying they did it first.

We were back – several times.

We went to the Moon because around 1960 the US believed that manned space flight would be of great strategic importance in the Cold War; nukes based in orbit, manned reconnaissance platforms, maybe even a missile base on the moon. The Defense Department believed we might need as many as 100 Saturn V class boosters for various military payloads. The Apollo program was envisioned as a crash program to develop a standing capacity for manned and heavy-payload missions anywhere from low earth orbit to the moon.
By the late 60’s most of these cold war scenerios had been discounted. We got to the moon first for the propaganda value; after that, we used up the boosters and vehicles still in the production line, then more or less gave up on manned flight untill the Shuttle was operational.

Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey speculated that everything seen in the movie, the space station, the Clavius base and the Discovery could have been built for what the USA spent on the Vietnam War. <sigh>

And the point is…?

So far as I know, nothing was found on the moon we need that desperately anyway, and the lack of water makes living there difficult.

It actually looks like there may be billions of tons of water on the moon, and easily accessible. The water is thought to come from comet impacts.

We recently crashed a lunar orbiter into the wall of a lunar crater in the hopes of kicking up a plume of water vapor that we could measure to determine for sure if the water is present. It didn’t work, but there could be lots of reasons for that. I’m guessing that we’re probably planning a lunar lander mission to find out for sure.

Did anyone else notice that floordog said “IF we actually put a man on the moon”?

Doesn’t that mean he or she doesn’t believe the moon landings actually happened?


Arthur C. Clarke’s point was that we’d have accomplished something far more noble than killing more than a million people in Vietnam, and accomplished our propaganda goals at the same time.

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

My daughter told me she could see the US flag
up on the moon (hey, she’s young). But it did
get me wondering if the Hubble Space Telescope
could view the remnants of an Apollo mission.
Is time on this scope simply too valuable to waste on such a silly thing? any ideas if you
could theoretically make out the images?


It can’t - not enough resolution. The diffraction limit of Hubble at that distance expands to about 300 linear ft, which while quite impressive, is a lot bigger than anything Apollo left up there.

Also, although Hubble has imaged the moon, my understanding is that they have to take quite a lot of care in doing that to avoid damaging the thing. The moon’s awfully bright.

peas on earth

Just out of curiosity I looked up the moon’s distance from us on the web (384400 km) and the diameter of the hubble primary (240 cm).

Here’s the derivation for the number in my previous post: the diffraction limit in radians, DL = 1.22 * wavelength / diameter, where wavelength is for the light you’re looking at.

Visible light is about 5000 angstroms, so pluggin the numbers in for Hubble’s mirror we get: DL(hubble) = 1.22 * 5x10^-5 / 240 = 2.54x10^-7 radians. Multiplying by 384400 km gives us 9.8x10^-2km, or about 98 meters, or about 320 feet.

You could probably work this backwards to figure out the mirror size you’d need to resolve something the size of the Apollo lander on the moon.

peas on earth

[Feasability"]]Feasability]( [url=" of using the Hubble to find lunar mission remnants

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

Ugh. Louie I ain’t…

Back off, man. I’m a scientist.

The hell with Arthur C. Clarke.

In 1969 we took an ancient symbol of the Feminine, not to mention the Virgin, and thrust our big ol’ rocket right into her in a hideous (and televised) display of interpanetary rape.

Makes you embarrassed to be an Amurrican.


Turns out that the crash didn’t kick up any water. The theory of lunar water remains unproven (and in the minds of many, unlikely).

Ukelele Ike: Would you have felt better if we’d stuck a U.N. flag into the Moon instead?

Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

I see the whole thing as a big wienie-wag back at the Nations of Earth. Doesn’t matter what you stick into her.


An interesting position, Uke. I wonder how far you carry it? Can I assume that other human endeavors of discovery or expedition are also “rapes”, whether interplanetary or merely intercontinental? The exploration and colonization of the Americas by Europeans? But why stop there, after all the first Amerinds who crossed the land bridge over the Berring Straights were “raping” these lands long before Columbus got a royal stipend stuck in his dreams. And how about those peky Cro-Magnons who first raped across through the pristine fields of Europe in the first place. What’s a poor eco-feminally aware being to do? It all started going wrong when we left those edenic African savannahs, no doubt.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity