Why haven't countries other than the USA sent a man to the moon? Why did the Soviets stop its efforts to reach the moon? Will China or India start a space program?
C Stuart Hardwick, Scifi author and science nerd.
The Apollo missions required a 36-story rocket.
I work on the 34th floor. To go to the Moon, we needed a rocket two floors taller than my office if you count the launch escape tower. In 2016 dollars, it cost $711 million to build a Saturn V – that's just to build it, not to fly it. For comparison, the 86 year-old, 102-story Empire State Building cost $637 million in 2016 dollars. But the Saturn wasn't built to keep and use for 86 years, it was built to go up on a pillar of flame and be reduced over the next few days into dust, debris, and a few precious keepsakes.
People say space travel is so expensive because it's like throwing away a jumbo jet at the end of every trip. No, it's like throwing away an Empire State Building at the end of every trip, or crashing a jumbo jet into two more sitting on the ground.
The Soviet Union aborted their own manned lunar program after their rocket, almost as big as ours but substantially less capable, blew itself and its launchpad straight to Hell. They were planning a mission that would have sent one cosmonaut down to the surface alone, something that with the technology of the time, NASA considered unacceptably dangerous.
It's the boldest, most adventursome, most HUMAN accomplishment in the history of our species, but to move beyond it to the true, economic exploitation of the next frontier, we have to change the economics.
Technology has improved in the decades since Apollo, but not as much as you might think. Other than its computers, most of the technology used on Apollo remains essentially state-of-the-art. To open up space, we need ships that don't have to carry all their oxidizer with them and that aren't fated to burn up after one use. That's why these guys are so important right now:
But we also need ships that aren't so complex they end up being more expensive than the disposables they replace. Nothing in space is easy, but we'll get there.
Jerry Greelis, Working on Object Teleportation
First, Mr. Hardwick has stated the reason why other countries, including the U.S. has not gone (nor gone back) to the Moon; extremely expensive, both back then and still today. I worked the Apollo mission at JPL, we backed up the Manned Space Flight Network (MSFN) with the Deep Space Network (DSN), an additional mission cost for human safety with redundancy. We became critical for Apollo 13.
Mr. Hardwick stated why the mission was so expensive, one huge cost was getting the spacecraft up into space with a 36 story rocket. I live in Florida today and seen this monster at the Space Visitor Center, of course this being small compared to the SLS coming down the pike; costing a billion dollars.
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To me today, the real answer why nobody else went to the Moon is because the science behind the missions forcing the participants into using the extremely expensive technology. Just think, if we had the technology to put a person on the Moon or Mars for a million dollars total, how many would go there today? Is this technology available today? That answer is yes and no, most probably yes, however, locked up in the military’s top secret projects. No because, Ben Rich, past Lockheed director of ‘Skunk Works’ stated it would take an act of God to get the technology out of the military top secret projects for humanity’s benefit.
Mr. Rich claimed, almost a quarter of a century ago, their technology allows them to both reach the stars and take ETs back home. Their propulsion system is obviously not expensive rockets, and a trip to the Moon, or even to Mars would be a piece of cake today. When an engineer asked what propulsion system they were using, he answered ‘do you know how ESP works?’ then stating that’s exactly how it (the propulsion system) works.
The core reason for the military projects achievements versus the NASA and other countries’ space initiatives lies within the science they are using. The military top secret projects are not locked into the science being taught today, but NASA and everyone else has no other option. Mr. Hardwick is correct in his assessment why no other country has attempted a Lunar Mission because of the expense, however, the root of the problem is not money at all, it is because of the science used in order to get there; forcing the expense.
Mark Anthony, Internet Marketing, American Patriot, Business Professiona
Laughing at some of the crazy answers here... China and India already have a space program. They have all the technology needed to colonize the moon since we basically gave them everything we had in 2009. They just need to get up to speed with it and be able to understand what all they have. We overwhelmed them with technology and information.
But for America? Too expensive? Really?? You say that while typing on a keyboard made from a chemical that was perfected from space research. You are using the Internet that got a huge jump forward with the creation of the semi conductor that was perfected by technology created for the space program and the race to the moon.
And the medication you take to function in the real world came from a space exploration program.
We have learned almost all that we can from going to the moon.
Most politicians now, are looking only at the next election, not at the future. Remember, it was President Kennedy that said He wanted America to go to the moon by the end of the DECADE, not the end of the election cycle. He saw the long term gains of space. He was in it for America and knew it would not be easy or fast but it would be beneficial to all.
If the International Space Station was a fixed base on the moon, its overall costs would be cut in half and we launch from there outward would be cheaper and more efficient in the long run. But expensive in the short term and would take international cooperation.
Ian Miller, Author, physical scientist
Why would they? There has to be a reason to spend the money. The US did it essentially for propaganda reasons, and of course to be the first there there was a huge scientific payoff. But once the moon rocks were analysed, from the scientific point of view we were rapidly hitting the law of diminishing returns. The next step is t go to the moon and do something.
The problem is, what? The moon is airless. and short of water, nitrogen, and just about everything we need. Yes, we can still do things there, but it is not pressing. maybe one day we will want to go to get 3He, useful for fusion. Only problem, as yet we don't know how to carry out fusion.
Basically, we have more important things to do than go back to the moon. But one day I feel we will go into space. Just not yet.
The ESA, Japan, Russia, and China all have plans to put men (or women) on the Moon. Private companies may be planning to go as well. NASA has cancelled it's plans to go back.
It's expensive, difficult to do, and it's very dangerous. It takes a lot of foresight, planning, research, engineering, and development. Before any of that begins, you need a reason to go, and you have to obtain funding before you even get started.
The US is the only country to have done so, and every step of the way was a new problem never considered before. When they first put a man in space, they didn't know if he would be able to breathe, or to swallow, without gravity to help. The first men back from the Moon were placed into immediate quarantine for nearly four days while tests were done, just in case they brought back some strange virus that would kill us all.
China successfully put the Yutu (rover) on the Moon in 2013, and it's still sending pictures and data. It was the first lunar landing in nearly forty years. It got stuck in the sand about 50 meters from the lander, and it's been stuck there in place ever since. They're sending another one up soon.
Richard J Breen, BS physics U ND '631/2 Ms Ed LI U 70 tested Nukes" in Nevada RR stuff in Colorado Boeing engineer retired 9...
it was a race! USA "won" but at GREAT COST , in money and almost in lives.
Russia had fatal failures. It was just too expensive for them. the Soviets DID put up the first satellite ( in the process demonstrating that they could have an intercontinental missile which shocked America) Soviets also had the first animal, the first man and the first woman in space and the first exploration of Venus.
I was part of the nuclear missile test business in the late 1960s.
America CANCELED a later moon flight. the near earth space station and the american soviet cooperation was much more useful for spam exploration.
In the future (decades) there will probably be a permanent international station on the moon. it is a much better place to put a base.
remember we are ONLY 200 miles from the ISS space station , but it is 240,000 miles to the moon.
the answer to your Q is very simple $$$$$$$$$$$$$ and technical ability
Eric Worrall, Director of Desirable Apps
Because nobody has the balls to do what must be done.
The Manhattan scientists developed a space drive in the 1950s, which would have allowed affordable exploration and colonisation of space. The most powerful version of the space drive could have powered a starship - sent a manned mission to Alpha Centauri, at 10% of the speed of light.
The space drive was briefly considered for the Apollo mission. But the space drive was nuclear. The old NAZI V2 scientist Wernher von Braun successfully campaigned against the nuclear option - so Apollo used spectacular, but utterly impractical chemical rockets, based on his old V2 systems.
I’ve sometimes wondered whether Von Braun’s vigorous defence of chemical rockets was his last gift to his Fuhrer. Because when he won the debate, not only did he stunt the space ambitions of the world which had rejected the NAZI philosophy he supported, he also ensured that the Jew Albert Einstein’s legacy to the world would be a terrible weapon, instead of a new space drive which could have opened our way to the stars.
Nihal Ansari, Blockchain Consultant (2016-present)
1.Moon race was an exercise considered important enough to prove techincal dominance in space during the cold war. There were only 2 competitors. US and USSR. The first group to reach moon was going to be remembered. Not the other one! Hence Russia never took active interest once US was already successful.
2.During 60s Russia was ahead in terms of technology for reaching moon. It was the death of once of the lead rocket designers (Sergei Korolev - Wikipedia) and possible internal politics that led to project delays. This time was effectively used by US to catch up.
3.The space missions of relatively poor countries like India and China are more of a “proof of capability” exercises. They are desperate attempts to prove to the world that they have the same kind of capabilities that the “superpowers” possess. Apparent aim is to be included in the elite group. However, original research lacks in both these countries because of high rate of poverty and education quality. That is the reason they keep working on things that others have achieved decades back.
Why send someone who can die when you can send robots which are cheaper and more efficient ?
Of course sending a man on the moon is a technological breakthrough and a powerful show of science and technology for the country who did it.
However, it stop there, the soviets weren't going to send a man on the moon to be second it has no interest and they had huge problems with their rockets which was going worse because their main scientist Mr. korolev (the soviet equivalent of von Braun) died.
Today it's different, technology has massively improved as science. We now know that the moon is rich in resources which could be exploited and the moon could be used as a base to send men to other planets such as Mars.
Also the world had changed since 1969, the USSR collapsed and China became a new adversary to the US so we could get another space course.
But it cost money to send a man on the moon even if I think the US will launch a woman for history and also it requires a solid political engagement, Kennedy made it clear and his death probably boosted the program
For countries like China and India they need to get a good level of experience in this field, China has made big steps such as successfully land a robot on the dark side of the moon and India is doing similar program such as successfully sending probes even they are behind China actually.
I don't know if other countries could do this but it's likely that we see a man on the moon in the next 10-20 years.
Doug Schwan, studied at Alternative Medicine, Physics
Only two countries up to now had the resources for a manned mission to the moon.
The Russians did participate in the race but they were hampered by their inability to manufacture large bellows required for a heavy lift rocket engine. The bellows are the large nozzles where the rocket exhaust comes out.
To compensate, instead of 5 very large rocket engines like we used in the Apollo 1st stage, they built a rocket (The N1) which had 30 separate 1st stage engines!
The vibration and shock arising out of all these engines was too much for the designers to overcome and the rockets kept exploding on launch—-one creating the largest non-nuclear man made explosion ever recorded.
The Russians gave up after the U.S. was successful and no other country has the resources to come close to duplicating the feat.
Manaal Johri, Student at La Martiniere College, Lucknow (2007-present)
Well originally space program was an enormous deal. The build-up of Apollo was highly against the backdrop of the highly charged cold war whose most visible or rather important mark was the space race between the USA and Soviet Union. But after the success of the Apollo missions, the enthusiasm significantly dropped. And people were even doubting that if NASA’s $209 Billion was even worth it. After this the Soviets were more inclined towards the making of a Space Station, and that's when Mir Space Station came into existence. After Mir they did not have much funds to uphold another Space program. And by the time they had some funds to do so the Soviet Union broke up on December 26, 1991. And for now USA and Russia together have decided to make a deep Space Station near the moon.
And as for now Indian Space Research Organization ISRO haven't told anything that if there are any space programs coming up.
And about China, well they are deciding to uphold a Space program very soon as they have announced this year in January that they will reach Mars by the end of 2020.