Why Haven’t We Been Back To The Moon?
On July 20th, 1969, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first men to set foot on the moon. At 2:18 MDT Armstrong announced, “Houston, Tranquility Base here-the Eagle has landed,” and an estimated one billion people watching or listening around the world cheered. The world was united in triumph.
Our last Apollo launch, Apollo 17, touched down on the Moon's surface in 1972 and we haven't been back since.
There seems to be a few possible explanations that make the most sense and hold the most water, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus. Here are the top four:
We Don't Have To
In a very "been there, done that" sort of way, some theorize that we've sent men to the moon so there's no reason to do it again. Why boldly go where dozens have already gone before?
Our Technology Is Better
One would reason that better technology is the perfect reason to send men back to the moon. We could get there faster, keep our astronauts safer, and take better readings. But better tech is exactly why we don't need to go back. We have probes and spacecraft that can do a better job imaging and studying the Moon than any astronaut ever could.
We Never Actually Went
Conspiracy Theorists will argue--despite the moutains of evidence to the contrary--that we never actually went to the moon. All the landings were staged on sets in the Southern Nevada desert, and our astronauts were nothing more than actors on wires. Theorists say it isn't a matter of going back to the moon, but that we've never been there in the first place.
NASA Can't Afford It
It's no secret that NASA has had its share of budget problems and cuts. There are those that claim that NASA simply can't afford to send men back to the moon. It is, after all, very expensive. It cost millions in 1970s money, what would it cost now?