Why We Haven’t Returned to the Moon

December 6, 2017

On any clear night, if you look up you will see the moon. As many of you know, we have been there many times before. The first time in 1969, and the most recent time in 1972 (Dunbar). We haven’t returned there ever since. But why? Well, there are many reasons why.

In short, there are two big reasons why we haven’t gone back. To begin, it is too expensive. NASA spent about $29.3 billion on the Apollo program. That’s worth about $109 billion today (NASA). The Apollo program had 17 flights; six of them were fully successful (NASA). So that’s about $172,000,000 per flight, or $6,412,000,000 today.

Also, we have no reason to go back. We have already done most of the research that would require materials from the moon. Plus, if we needed to go back, we could probably send a robot instead.

Not to mention, there are a lot more important space programs at the moment. For example, the mission to Mars. That mission will cost $10 billion overall. So if we are going to spend money on a space program, it should probably go to funding the Mars mission.

The only reason why we might go to the moon would be to set up a base there, which would be useful, but there currently are no definite plans for one (Lowman).

So to conclude, there are many reasons why we haven’t returned to the moon since the 1970’s. Biggest of which is that it is too expensive, and we have no definite reason or purpose to make the trip. But who knows. Maybe sometime soon, we could go back!

 

References:

Dunbar, Brian. “Apollo 17.” NASA, NASA, 16 Mar. 2015, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/apollo/missions/apollo17.html.

“The Apollo Program.” NASA, NASA, nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo.html.

Lowman, Paul D. “Why The Moon?” NASA, NASA, 14 Jan. 2008, www.nasa.gov/exploration/home/why_moon.html

 

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