Why haven't people been able to return to the moon since the Apollo mission?

Recently, many space agencies from different countries have been trying to send their landing modules to the Moon. At the same time, time after time we see the failures of these missions. Only some devices manage to successfully land on the moon. For example, for the first time in the last 50 years, a spacecraft with NASA equipment landed on the surface of the Earth’s natural satellite. However, even this mission did not go smoothly — During landing, the device turned over, and in general it was able to reach the surface of the Moon unharmed only thanks to a happy accident. As a result, the question arises — Why has there been no progress in the last half century? Indeed, in the period from 1968 to 1972, people visited the Moon 9 times, technology is developing, but it seems that making such flights has only become more difficult.

Why people can't return to the Moon since the Apollo mission. Over the past 50 years, flying to the Moon has not become an easier task, but rather the opposite. Photo.

Over the past 50 years, flying to the moon has not become an easier task, but rather the opposite

Contents

  • 1 What is the difficulty of flying to the Moon
  • 2 Why haven’t flights become easier since people flew to the Moon?
    • 2.1 Mastering new technologies
    • 2.2 Limited funding

What is the difficulty of flying to the Moon

Currently, only five countries have been able to send their vehicles to the Moon — these are the USA, Soviet Union, China, India and Japan. By the way, the Japanese lunar mission was not entirely successful, just like the American Odyssey program, which was mentioned above. The Russian landing module Luna-25, like a number of others, crashed.

This is clear confirmation that even half a century after the last human flight to the Moon, it remains complex and dangerous place. But what is the difficulty of landing on the lunar surface?

What is the difficulty of flying to the Moon. NASA's first lunar mission in the last 50 years cannot be called completely successful. Photo.

NASA's first lunar mission in the last 50 years cannot be called completely successful

The main obstacle is the lack of atmosphere on the Moon. To be more precise, the atmosphere is still present, but it is very subtle, and changes over time. Therefore, it is impossible to use parachutes to land ships on the moon. Instead, the devices use engines to descend to the surface. This makes it very difficult to slow down a spacecraft from a few kilometers per second to a complete stop, since it is necessary to control with high precision the position of the ship relative to the surface of the Moon, its vertical movement, descent speed and altitude

Why, since the flight of people on Flights to the Moon have not become easier

Over the last half century, technology has begun to develop by leaps and bounds, but this has not affected flights to the Moon. In this regard, conspiracy theories even arose that the Americans did not actually fly to the satellite. There are actually several reasons for this.

Why haven't flights become easier since people flew to the Moon? There are several reasons why flights to the Moon have not become more accessible than 50 years ago. Photo.

There are several reasons why flights to the Moon have not become more accessible than 50 years ago

Exploration new technologies

Everything has changed since humans landed on the moon, including the technology used by the Apollo missions in the 60s and 70s. Software, sensors and other equipment that were used 50 years ago are now completely useless. This is a paradox associated with the development of technology.

On the one hand, technology has become more advanced, but on the other — scientists are now unable to use past experience for future missions. In addition, the generation that worked on the Apollo mission has already left the industry, as a result of which knowledge and experience are essentially lost. As a result, space agencies, including NASA, have to learn from scratch.

Limited funding

Technology certainly plays an important role in space exploration, but funding is even more important. In the 60s and 70s, at the height of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Apollo program was the core mission of NASA. At the same time, the state did not spare money – the budget was 10 times higher than the current one. Between 1960 and 1973, the agency spent $25.8 billion ($257 billion adjusted for inflation). This amount amounted to almost 5% of the total US federal budget.

Limited funding. The Apollo program budget is many times higher than the budgets of current lunar missions. Photo.

«Apollo» program budget many times higher than the budgets of current lunar missions

Currently, space agencies have to work with much smaller budgets, which makes the task much more difficult. For example, NASA receives less than 0.5% of the country's total federal spending, and this budget is spent not only on lunar missions, but also on all other missions, of which the agency also has a lot.

Reducing costs requires finding cost-effective solutions . If previously NASA was happy with the cost of, for example, tens of billions of dollars for a spacecraft, now scientists are faced with the task of reducing costs to 100 million dollars. In addition, reducing costs increases the risks of failure.

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However, even in such conditions, scientists manage to achieve some success. For example, NASA now plans to launch the second robotic lunar spacecraft, Griffin, in the second half of this year. At the same time, work on the exploration of Mars does not stop. For example, in November the agency plans to send a rover to the Red Planet to search for water.


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