Have you wondered why we haven't returned to the Moon? The Apollo missions captivated the world with their groundbreaking feats and inspired dreams of further space exploration. Why haven't we been back to the Moon yet, as time passes and technology progresses?
What are Moon explorations? They refer to various missions and projects by multiple space agencies to investigate the Moon and its surface. The USA achieved the first human landing in the 1960s and 1970s with the Apollo missions led by NASA. But since the mid-20th century, lunar explorations have significantly decreased.
Why haven't we been back to the Moon?
There are various reasons why humans have not been to the lunar surface since the space race of the 20th century. According to Business Insider, the reasons for not being able to visit the lunar planet is budgetary and political.
Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated that science or technology had not prevented the USA from doing this sooner. Political risks, he claims, limited the programme, and without them, man would be on the lunar surface right now. Learn more about the achievements, challenges, and progress of lunar explorations below.
When was the last time someone walked on the Moon?
It has been over 50 years since someone last walked on the lunar surface. The last time a person set foot on the Moon was during the Apollo 17 twelve-day mission from 7 to 19 December 1972.
Are we going back to the Moon?
Yes, we are. According to NASA, the Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the Moon's surface by 2025. The Artemis programme is a human and automated lunar exploration programme led by NASA and three partner agencies.
Among these partners are the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The structure of the Artemis programme is around a series of Space Launch System (SLS) missions.
These space missions will become more complex, and their launches will be at a year or more intervals. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the programme includes Artemis 1 through Artemis 5 missions.
Do we have the technology to go to the Moon today?
Yes, we have. Modern technology is more advanced and capable of enabling man to go to the Moon. However, the space programme has faced budgetary and political problems that hampered lunar space explorations.
How much did it cost to go to the Moon?
According to the Planetary Society, the Apollo space programme cost the United States of America approximately $25.8 billion between 1960 and 1973. If you add the robotic lunar program and Project Gemini, both of which enabled the Apollo project, the USA spent around $28 billion.
According to CPI Inflation Calculator, $28 billion from 1970 is worth an estimated $218.9 billion in 2023.
How many countries have walked on the Moon?
The United States of America is the only country to have walked man on the lunar surface. However, three nations have successfully landed spacecraft on the celestial surface. They include the USA, the Soviet Union and China.
Other countries that have visited the lunar surface via probes include the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan, Russia (the USSR), China, and India.
How many times have we been to the Moon?
According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, humans have landed on the lunar surface six times. Apollo 11 was the first crewed aircraft to land a man on the Moon in 1969. After the Apollo 11 mission, six further trips to the lunar surface happened, of which five were successful. In total, 12 men have walked the celestial surface in history.
How long does it take to get to the Moon?
The exact distance varies depending on the path taken. Caltech reports that historically, lunar journeys took three days to cover a distance of 386,400 kilometres (240,000 miles).
- Why haven't humans gone back to the Moon? According to NASA, the reasons humans have yet to return are political and financial rather than technical or scientific.
- How much did it cost to go to the Moon? The USA spent $25.8 billion on Project Apollo between 1960 and 1973.
- Are we going back to the Moon? The Artemis project by NASA aims to send a human-crewed aircraft to the lunar surface in 2025.
- How many countries have walked on the Moon? The USA is the only country to walk a man on the lunar surface successfully.
- When was the last time someone walked on the Moon? The last time someone stepped on the lunar surface was between 7 and 19 December 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.
- Do we have the technology to go to the Moon today? Yes, we do. NASA has collaborated with other space agencies under the Artemis program aiming to visit the lunar surface by 2025.
- How many times have we been to the Moon? We have landed on the lunar surface successfully six times in history.
Why haven't we been back to the Moon? NASA says the reasons humans haven't been to the lunar surface since 1972 are budgetary and political, not scientifical or technical. The last time a person visited the lunar surface was in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission by NASA.
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