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Thread: Why NASA has never returned to The Moon?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matej Velko View Post
    Yes, thank you, I see the point now. So I guess when men will be able to land on Mars it will be the 1st and the last time, right?
    Only if it is a "flags and footprints" mission. That's why I'm against flags and footprints missions, actually. When we go there, we should go there for more than just to say we did it.

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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Only if it is a "flags and footprints" mission. That's why I'm against flags and footprints missions, actually. When we go there, we should go there for more than just to say we did it.
    I do agree with that, but look at history and many great 'firsts', here are a few listed:

    - Christopher Columbus sailing 'off the edge of the world' to get to India (or was it China?) and found the West Indies and that led to European civilisations 'discovering' America.

    - Scott and Amundsen racing to the South Pole

    - Edmund Hilary climbing Mount Everest

    - 'Chuck' Yeager breaking the sound barrier (did have something of a secretive military interest admitedly)

    - Land Speed records

    I would suggest all (or most) these things were done as much as a 'plant the flag' exercise as anything. Being somewhat cynical, and knowing how we as mankind, or at least individual countries work these things, I would guess the FIRST Mars mission would pretty much be this kind of exercise. Anything after that may involve more science, if funding is still seen as viable 'because as we have already been there, why spend more going again?' ......

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyfire View Post
    - Christopher Columbus sailing 'off the edge of the world' to get to India (or was it China?) and found the West Indies and that led to European civilisations 'discovering' America.

    Of course, the American Indians had already 'discovered' the continent they lived on, the moment each of them was born ..... unless of course there was some far greater conspiracy going on ....

  4. #34
    I agree entirely with your point, but I want to correct you on #2.

    By "the" Zeppelin, if you mean the Graf Zeppelin, I don't know the exact count, but it landed at Lakehurst many times, as did the USS Los Angeles (built by the Zeppelin factory and given to the United States by the German Government, as it was partially funded by war reparations from World War I).

    If you're referring to the Hindenburg, it's final flight would have been its twelfth landing at Lakehurst.

    Sorry for the off-topic diversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Extracelestial View Post
    Hi Matej

    I suppose this is only the precursor to the question whether NASA did manage a landing at all. However, ample reasons have been given therefore I'd like you to reflect and, if possible, to answer the following questions:

    #1 why did we visit the Marianna trench only once?
    #2 why did the Zeppelin land in Lakehurst only twice?
    #3 why has the Namcha Barwa (7782 m - about a kilometer less than Mount Everest) only be climbed once?
    #4 why has the Wankel internal combustion engine been utilised only in one car type?

    If to any of the questions above the answer is "impossible" then we'll need to rewrite our history.

    Ex

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyfire View Post
    - Christopher Columbus sailing 'off the edge of the world' to get to India (or was it China?) and found the West Indies and that led to European civilisations 'discovering' America.
    This had been planned as the beginning of trade missions from the outset. The reason he was able to get financing at all was that the Spanish crown thought they'd be able to cut the Portuguese out of their trade route by going a faster way. Definitely not "flags and footprints."
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  6. #36
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    The reasons for no more manned missions to the moon since 1972 are starkly simple:

    1. MONEY - It costs A LOT to send a spacecraft up with all that HEAVY life support equipment (including quite useful stuff like AIR) and then RETURN THE MEN SAFELY TO EARTH!

    2. MONEY - The sheer cost requires POLITICAL WILL to WANT to spend all those TAXPAYERS (i.e. VOTERS) dollars/euros to achieve it

    3. MONEY - there is currently NO AVAILABLE CRAFT that will get men to the Moon and back so even to design it takes time and effort (both of which require money - see 1 and 2), even before construction (I know there is a concept design there .... and progressing I think - Orion?)


    Small robot craft can (and have been) sent to the Moon for a tiny fraction of the cost of a manned ship. Some have been put into low earth orbit and then using (ion drive???) have taken weeks or months to raise their orbit towards the moon. VERY efficient on fuel, but no use for manned craft, it would take far too long, thus astronauts running out of useful stuff such as food .... and air ...

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfribrg View Post
    Also, over time, robotics technology has vastly improved, making it less necessary for someone to risk their life for the scientific knowledge.
    But I wanna go!

    Which is the real reason for wanting a manned return, the dream that at some time I can be the man.
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  8. #38
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    Aw, Henrik, you'll always be the man to me.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Aw, Henrik, you'll always be the man to me.
    Gillian's fantasm.....Walking on the Moon with HenriK.

  10. #40
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    I don't think they make spacesuits for people with scoliosis.
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    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I don't think they make spacesuits for people with scoliosis.
    If they don't, then I'm out.
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  12. #42
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    Extracelestial, off point but I thought I'd share....

    #4 why has the Wankel internal combustion engine been utilised only in one car type?

    Mazda Cosmo
    NSU Ro80
    Mazda RX7
    Mazda RX8 and RX9
    Mazda 787b Le Mans entry

    Norton and Suzuki also produced Wankel engined motorcycles.

    Just for info

  13. #43
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    .,.... oh and the VAZ-2106s

    Built without the license to use the Wankel design.

  14. #44
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    Ok guys, I get it now. There is no need to send men onto moon's surface, it's too expensive, to risky and too expensive. and yes Slang I certainly knew it was Neil, not Niel...
    Observing from the top of the Motion Mountain.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    This had been planned as the beginning of trade missions from the outset. The reason he was able to get financing at all was that the Spanish crown thought they'd be able to cut the Portuguese out of their trade route by going a faster way. Definitely not "flags and footprints."
    Oops! I stand corrected! Thanks Gillian.

    NOTE to self: re-read up on history if wanting to quote it!


  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matej Velko View Post
    Ok guys, I get it now. There is no need to send men onto moon's surface, it's too expensive, to risky and too expensive.
    That's it really. there is plenty of DESIRE to go back to the moon (and even on to Mars) from many individuals (note several responses on here to start with!!!), but the big stumbling block is that this type of enterprise involves MASSIVE resources that only a country such as the USA or conglomerate such as ESA could even conceivably put together. Well, you know what that means, you have to convince the TAXPAYERS to vote for it ..... and that hasn't been shown to be too successful over the years.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellow View Post
    Norton and Suzuki also produced Wankel engined motorcycles.
    IIRC the Norton motorbike was competitive at the time, even though they were restricted to (I think) half the cc the other bikes were allowed, due I presume to the increase in power from a rotary over a 2/4 stroke engine.

  18. #48
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    Another useful comparison is with the South Pole.

    Amundsen and his expedition went to Antarctica with the sole objective of being first to the South Pole.

    Scott and his expedition went to Antarctica with the dual objectives of undertaking some serious science and beeing first to the South Pole.

    After those two expeditions, it was something like 15 years before anyone visited the South Pole again, and another 20-odd years after that before anyone stood at the South Pole.

    The fact that there's a permanent base at the South Pole shows there's plenty of research people can do there, but there was a long gap between people first reaching the South Pole and people staying there.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
    Another useful comparison is with the South Pole.

    Amundsen and his expedition went to Antarctica with the sole objective of being first to the South Pole.

    Scott and his expedition went to Antarctica with the dual objectives of undertaking some serious science and beeing first to the South Pole.

    After those two expeditions, it was something like 15 years before anyone visited the South Pole again, and another 20-odd years after that before anyone stood at the South Pole.

    The fact that there's a permanent base at the South Pole shows there's plenty of research people can do there, but there was a long gap between people first reaching the South Pole and people staying there.
    I think that is a brilliant analogy.
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  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyfire View Post
    IIRC the Norton motorbike was competitive at the time, even though they were restricted to (I think) half the cc the other bikes were allowed, due I presume to the increase in power from a rotary over a 2/4 stroke engine.
    Yup, the Norton has been (in the past) a reasonably competitive road racing bike. The police also used a version for a while as a motorway police bike with mixed results.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellow View Post
    Extracelestial, off point but I thought I'd share....

    #4 why has the Wankel internal combustion engine been utilised only in one car type?
    A good sliding seal against a flat (rather than cylindrical) wall is very hard to make so it will work well for the type of wear the combustion chamber of an engine gets.
    This is the main killer of all rotary engine designs.
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  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    A good sliding seal against a flat (rather than cylindrical) wall is very hard to make so it will work well for the type of wear the combustion chamber of an engine gets.
    This is the main killer of all rotary engine designs.
    Since Swift indicated his "nice analogy", let me respond to this one.

    A rotary engine was great when it was in production. But as time went on it became less advantagious than other designs, and the trade off between regulation and advancing the design to accomodate them has made it undesirable.

    Same with the moon, it was valuable to science, technology, jobs, politics and probably other things in relation to other governmental tasks. But; as that science was done, the technology progressed, and other space adventures outweighed a manned moon landing, it became les advantagious. Along with safety regulations. It was dangerous, now that we did it, it's probably not a good idea to repeat it until we know it's going to be a lot safer.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    But I wanna go!

    Which is the real reason for wanting a manned return, the dream that at some time I can be the man.
    Surely, you don't mean that !

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    The government role in this sort of undertaking seems to have largely diminished; it would only be undertaken if it were "in the national interest", which I can't see happening anytime soon. What needs to happen is for it to become commercially viable - even desirable - to return to the Moon or go to Mars. For instance, if fusion reactors became possible, reactors which could safely and relatively cheaply power everything from a car to a city but required use of an element that was rare on the Earth but abundant on the Moon or Mars, then commercial exploration might (would?) take place.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I don't think they make spacesuits for people with scoliosis.
    A BioSuit design or similar might work, as the interior layer is tailored to the individual wearing it.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    A good sliding seal against a flat (rather than cylindrical) wall is very hard to make so it will work well for the type of wear the combustion chamber of an engine gets.
    This is the main killer of all rotary engine designs.
    I have often wondered if there was scope for ceramics to be used in the design of a Wankel engine (low friction, strength), but don't know enough about the technology... I should read up more.

  27. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviousman View Post
    The government role in this sort of undertaking seems to have largely diminished; it would only be undertaken if it were "in the national interest", which I can't see happening anytime soon. What needs to happen is for it to become commercially viable - even desirable - to return to the Moon or go to Mars. For instance, if fusion reactors became possible, reactors which could safely and relatively cheaply power everything from a car to a city but required use of an element that was rare on the Earth but abundant on the Moon or Mars, then commercial exploration might (would?) take place.
    I'm not so sure about 'LARGELY diminished', look at how China are forging ahead .... well, perhaps not forging, but certainly moving forward. In Russia and of course USA the reduction in space exploration spending is maybe as much due to the current economic climate as anything.

    With current knowledge (or maybe lack of it) about mineral resources available from the Moon or Mars (or anywhere else for that matter) it is probably something of a catch 22 situation. Until more detailed exploration is done TO SEE IF ANYTHING IS commercially viable, no commercial enterprise is likely to spend the money to explore. If or when it becomes KNOWN that there is a commercial possibility on the Moon or Mars, THEN we may see something happen.

    Ah well, we can always hope things will change in our lifetimes!

  28. #58
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    It's like building that really big ferris wheel in London for just.....JUST one ride for two people and then it's vanished. Does it make sense? No.
    Would you take a Morris Minor and travel to South Africa to get one bottle of wine and return? I don't thinkl so.
    It doesn't pay.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    It's like building that really big ferris wheel in London for just.....JUST one ride for two people and then it's vanished.
    Do you think so?
    Please show exactly how it is like that.

    First issue is that a ferris wheel does not need to be completely rebuilt from scratch every single time it is used.

  30. #60
    The Millennium Wheel cost 70 million pounds to build, and it was build as a permanent attraction.

    Now, the trip to South Africa isn't such a good example.
    It would be an amazing journey, the wine is just an excuse.

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