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POLL: Should NASA Send Astronauts Back to the Moon?

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Should NASA Send Astronauts Back to the Moon?

  • Absolutely! The 40 years since the first moon landing have been way too long.

    Votes: 85 85.0%
  • Perhaps, but only if the new science and technologies from the effort can help the rest of humanity

    Votes: 10 10.0%
  • Just say NO to the moon. We’ve been there before, and any attempt to return is a ridiculous waste of

    Votes: 5 5.0%

  • Total voters
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NASA should most definitely return to the moon and beyond. Besides the science, knowledge, new products and innovation, it will bring mankind closer together and provide a new frontier which we and our children sorely need. It will also provide new outlets for our growing population along with new ways and means to address problems here on Terra.

Bill Garbett
All Gave Some: Some Gave All


The operative word ABSOLUTELY is a no-brainer response to this important question.


Yes. If humanity doesn't explore and advance why even have intelligence? As a matter of national pride should Americans just sit on their butts and watch the rest of the human race make advancements?


We have squandered the last 40 years in low earth orbit. Those were forty years during which me could have been developing the skills needed to contruct ships and habitiats in high earth orbit which could then be launched to Mars and beyond.

The only GOOD reason to go back to the Moon is to create a permament presence on the moon. From such a moon base, building and launching far more sophisticated and unmanned spacecraft (than we can launch from Earth) as well as manned spacecraft would be far less costly.

If we are going back to the Moon just to leave again, we are far better off to seek a permament base in high earth orbit and launch our fabricated-in-space ships to Mars and beyond from there.


While NASA resurrects a 50 year old technology, Burt Rutan gets to the moon sooner and at a fraction of the cost. Long ago, Robert Heinlein imagined a private company staking a claim to the moon while the major powers fussed. Who would have imagined such a thing might be possible. Pay attention to Scaled Composites and T/Space. That's where the action is at.


. . . Konechno, tavarish! I agree with frodo2008's observations and several others, and add, similar to the science fiction "Time Machine" about humans evolving into two species, one of which lived underground with all its manufacturing capacity (but in this case, I hope, not cannibalizing surface animate-species), on the Moon and Mars we should build our cities and manufacturing entirely underground. Mining and tunneling should be easy in the less-compacted rock layers in fractional gravity. We should materialize scientists David Criswell and Alex Ignatiev's decades-long dream of lunar solar collectors, supplying near-constant supply of electricity to Earth via microwaves to surface receptor stations (with parallel communications that instantly terminate transmissions should the beam go off-target for any reason). Other solar-collector/battery combos would be made for lunar electric-powered accelerator-track launches to orbiting space fleets under construction. I don't know which of many publishings by or about Criswell and Ignatiev are best; from a web-search of their names I link you to http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... nergy.html and http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/20 ... r-fro.html as examples describing their plans.
. . . Launching from Earth is too expensive, and adds to atmospheric pollution! Underground colonies on the Moon are protected from solar radiation and all but the rarest large meteorites; go deep enough and you're in the destructive range of only really large meteors that could be detected and deflected. On Mars, I believe in the next decade robotic missions will detect an extensive network of natural underground river and volcanic channels (just look at the sinkholes visible from orbit in the area east of the Tharsis Montes, some as wide as a football stadium, and at least as deep), and again less-dense layers should make underground cities easy to build. Only entry-exit portals and greenhouses should be above ground.
. . . Ala'n Ala'n Apurim in Houston


If this is supposed to be a serious discussion why do you let this pass?

There's so much we could use the moon for. For example, new cities to help cope with the population problem thats getting worse each generation. Penal colonies for the really dangerous criminals (eg GWB or the man who shot MJ) and so on.

GWB is the one who proposed a return to the moon. Had I posted the same comment about Obama me thinks it would have been deleted post haste.

If he keeps up what he's doing we won't have any money to go to the moon or to visit grandma.


Len":1d9u4nli said:
While NASA resurrects a 50 year old technology, Burt Rutan gets to the moon sooner and at a fraction of the cost. Long ago, Robert Heinlein imagined a private company staking a claim to the moon while the major powers fussed. Who would have imagined such a thing might be possible. Pay attention to Scaled Composites and T/Space. That's where the action is at.
We'll see. So far nothing's made orbit, which is the baby step long before a lunar mission.


If we go, we better bring a flag to place their before the Chinese go and find out there is no American flag there.


:ugeek: Here is how I look at it. Going to the moon is expensive, but so is any worth while endeavor. I was born 45 days after the first Moon landing and still see the reruns of that eventful day some almost 40 yrs since. There is so much engineering to salve so much in the way of information to be gained just in the attempt. The one thing I do not like is that it will not involve the shuttle or a real successor. We are a little past the strap a rocket to a rock and send, yet due to cost that is what the next ship is looking like. While I am not looking for Buck Rogers, I personally think that since we pretty much did this before it's time to have a ship that could set up a base on the moon and the vehicle where sending isn't it. For now let's get there, but let us think of the next for after that


We need to expand our presence beyond just the low Earth orbit. This effort should take advantage of what we have learned, and impliment a planned development, using the information we have already acquired to build on the next step. Infrastructure needs to be set in place to reduce the future cost. This needs to be in orbit about the moon such as a combination GPS, communications, and landsat optical system to tprovide navigationassistance, continuous communications, and monitor ground activity in case of accidents.

On the ground solar cell gathering power systems that can be tapped in and espanded as needed as well as nuclear power that would provide main load power during eclipe times so that no location is out of reach for research and development.

The ability to use regolyth as a building material by fusing it like concrete into landind pads, habitats and tunnels for below ground. This means habitats are possible above and below ground from native material.

Oxygen is available in the Lunar soil and by sending material to the moon in solid nonvolite form accellerated to its surface and converted to water if water is not available as hoped. future resources will be water from Cerius and methane form the outer planets.


It depends on whether NASA has a robust commitment to:
1) fully utilize the proposed moon base for a major well-funded program of scientific research on the moon
2) Is fully committed to using the moon base to develop technologies needed for human interplanetary travel, such as the ability to exploit non-terrestrial resources to sustain the base.
After spending billions on the International Space Station, NASA has drastically cut back on its program planned program of scientific research there, thereby wasting the money spent. This shouldn't be allowed to happen again. NASA should establish a clear mission and rationale for the base, and congress should fund it adequately to achieve its goals. NASA needs to get tougher on its contractors, to make sure its manned space program is lean and efficient, and not simply a handout program for big business. After decades of stagnation with the half-hearted shuttle and space station programs, America needs a manned space program that chooses achievable goals and is adequately funded to achieve them.


Perhaps we've been placing the wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable and reading the question wrong.
Perhaps we should read the question as follows:

"Is NASA the best choice to send humans back to the Moon?" or "Should NASA (be the one to) send Astronauts back to the Moon?"

Now, THAT's an interesting question, since obviously the question of sending humans to the Moon is a logical and necessary step to confidently go beyond the Earth/Luna system.

If one accepts that mankind must extend its presence beyond the home planet, then lunar presence is a necessary step before proceeding further. We must have the experience before venturing further afield (so to speak).

Then we should ask the question, are we at the point where private enterprise - by itself - can springboard off existing/prior governmental experiences/projects to carry the torch?

I don't think we're there yet. It still has to be a multi-national effort in conjunction with private enterprise.

What is woefully lacking is a strong public voice to encourage - nay, demand that tax money be spent wisely to proceed with important science (however esoteric to the "inquiring minds" among us) and development.

I have great hopes for humanity despite the charlatans, war-mongers, petty politicians and village idiots among us. There are lots of good people out there who want the best for themselves and their children.

We ARE going to the stars - of that I am sure, because we all look up at them and wonder, "What's out there?" And we WILL find ways to go exploring. It's in our nature.


> if nasa decides not to go back to moon, you can gaurantee that china or possibly a muslim country will take the moon;
>> if u.s.a wants to continue to be a superpower in this world,then it must conquer space properly; & setting up base on the moon, so that experiments about living in alien enviroments are carried out, is essential.
> nasa also needs to make obama admin realise that most advancements in technology & enviromental technology has been greatly infleuenced by nasa; computers would still be the size of warehouses,if it wasn't for nasa's need to fit computers into orbiters,landers or satellites going to other planets;
> also saying that we need to stop spending vast amounts of money on space technology,when there are starving people on earth ; misses the point of exploring space completely; the more we learn about other planets & enviroments,the more we learn about ourselves & earth; a slightly similiar experience happens when for example a person goes overseas to reside in a foreign country;they tend to become more aligned to their home culture & become more paitroitic;


No matter how far back you go the Moon has been lifes companion. When you look up you share a conection with most of the living things that have ever existed on this planet. Now that that life is contemplating moving outward it must be our first step. All of human existance has been driven by curiosity and the need to explore. Its what has allowed us to survive when other versions of man have stagnated and failed. Great things were acomplished on our last venture with technology that compares to todays like stone hammers. Look around people. This planet needs something that every being on the Earth can see by stepping out the door on a clear night. Something that can light imagination, ideas, and drive. I hate to let you all down but American Idol doesn't fit the bill. This planet is tearing itself apart like no science fiction author would ever have imagined. We have no vision. Our goverments and religions have failed to grasp the bigger picture and we need this. If we don't go the planet will continue unconcerned but with one less species.
After reading the comments from other users I fully expect a salvo of pesimistic fearfull reasons not to go and thats ok. After all, Columbus had to deal with that as well.


That depends, if NASA is going to over-inflate the costs, waste time on outdated technology, not try anything new or cutting edge, and only take samples that are inconclusive, then no, they sure as hell should not send Astronauts back to the moon. Use the money to fund private companies that have the balls to try things. NASA shot themselves in the foot when they cut themselves off to using anything nuclear back in the late 1950s and 1960s, space is full of radiation, get used to it.

NASA is full of a bunch of egg-heads that should not be running a space program? Why? Because space travel is one of the most dangerous and technologically demanding pursuits man can engage in. A bunch of bureaucrats running a space-program isn't really a space program at all. We should have made many more advances than we have in the last 50 years. Space technology has fallen behind, to the point of being pathetic. Computer and power technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last 50 years, yet NASA plans to spend more money on basically the same equipment that we used 40 years ago? That would be like the army mass producing Sherman Tanks from WW2 again, or the Air Force using Bi-planes.


The main aim should be getting a person to Mars. Going to the Moon would be a useful test of the equipment but should not be the long term target.
America is going soft and that is why there has been so little progress since the 70's.
I would suggest a one way Mars mission with the aim of setting up a permanent base on Mars. This would probably take less resources than a return mission and might even be safer. As technology improves the chance to bring astronauts home would apply.
I would also suggest putting resources into building a rotating tether (bolo) space catapult as the cheapest way to launch supplies to Mars and elsewhere.


Unfortunately ... there is a significant percentage of the population that does not believe we were ever really there in the first place. I think a manned expedition is needed for that reason alone.


I can't believe all the nay sayers... here are some reasons I've read here why not to go. Including my replie to them:

- Done that! Why do it again?
Same reason why people went to check out that new found continent after Columbus came back. It's called exploration. It's something we humans tend to do when we're not training to become a couchpotato! Remember the words of Dave Scott, Apollo 15 during his moonlanding: "As I stand out here in the wonders of the unknown at Hadley, I sort of realize there's a fundamental truth to our nature, Man must explore . . . and this is exploration at its greatest."

This alone should be reason enough .. but since you've asked for it I'll rant along just to make sure you will understand it :mrgreen: :

- Why do it with old technology?
By all means but Orion/Ares is not old technology. You might've been led to believe this by other nay sayers. But we have so much more technology and microgravity habitat knowledge right now. It would be indeed a worthwhile effort to go there. (just as much as we should've directly after the Apollo program). But we still have to learn a lot of things about self sustaining habitats and building structures from regolith like materials. Moon is the best place to train for that. It would be a proving ground that our current state of technology is or is not up to par for making something like this happen. Remember this time we're going to stay! Which is a totally different approach to what was done with Apollo.

Also ... yes... propulsion hasn't taken a flight into the area of hyperdrives or something that will get us there in a few hours. That only proves more why we should do a moonshot. It's the only reasonable place to go like this. 3 days of flying is very much worth the trip when it puts us back into a 1/6Gee gravity well after that.

- Too much money for the taxpayers
I've never heard any taxpayer complain about the revenues made out of the Apollo program even less complaints about the amount of jobs it created and a new space program will create.
I've never heard any taxpayer complain this hard sending hundreds of thousands American soldiers to the Middle East... only rewarded by a number of soulless victims counting in the thousands already. With hardly ANY return out of that but a budget overshadowing the NASA budget more than a 100 fold!

- Let's go to Mars directly.. we have the technology don't we?
Actually .. yes AND no! We do have some technology to get there... and back. But no actual relevant experience with 2 year roundtrips now do we? How would you think about a crew of 4-5 that have been in Zero Gee for at least 6 months with all the physical/physiological degradation that comes with that? Do you really thing that the landing party would be capable of planting that Star Spangled Banner into the red soil? Have you ever seen a Cosmonaut being helped out of his spacecraft after any prolongued time in Micro Gravity? Their first steps resulted in broken bones! This clearly teaches us that we need to come up with a solution for generating artificial gravity (e.g. rotating habitat gondoloa's) for trips like this. Something that could well be engineered in the meantime while we're "colonizing" the moon.

To me the answers are so clear that I just CANNOT understand why the general public is so ignorant about the facts...


Poll results are somewhat misleading. 95% chose either the first or second choice, both indicating we should go back to the moon (as long as we learn from it, which is a given - I really don't see the difference between the first two responses). But let's consider that we ARE at "Space.com" .....who visits this site anyway? Just us space junkies. So, take these results with a grain of salt. I'd prefer to see the results from the same poll posted on CNN.com or some other mainstream site.


Unfortunately I cannot vote in this poll cause it's too simplistic (as most of the polls are).

Imho NASA (and hopefully other space agencies) shall go to the moon in order to ultimately build a self-sustaining base there. And the objective of the base is to support space exploration via providing fuel for interplanetary missions and making simple support structures for larger on-orbit assembled spacecraft.


The moon is our new frontier. We have to go back and the sooner the better :!:


We must return to the moon ASAP! The true future of our existence demands it. The space program is more vital than any earth problem. But reality is that Humans are self destructive and would rather hate each other over stupid religious nonsense than progress to the next level of evolution.


Absoluly sure and positive, but not to find out water or ice there.Moon does not haveGravity like earth or atleast like Mars. There are no ingradients found which can support life. but still there is much ,ore like Uranium, Helium 3 and so on. Possibility for using moon as alternate future space station as ISS is getting more populated. Last thingthat moon may be used as launching pad for the journey to Mars.

To study all these NASA must send astronauts to the moon. :D :)


Of course! Going to Mars won't happen in my lifetime, so go back to the Moon and learn how to use the stuff, the place, the space and the time up there so that you can eventually travel further.
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