Why Nasa Stopped Moon Visits

Why NASA Stopped Moon Visits

The first moon landing was in July of 1969. The sixth and final landing occurred in December of 1972. Manned moon landings were very concentrated within a small number of years, and since then have not continued.

The main reason that NASA sent astronauts to the moon in the first place was mostly political. To compete with the Soviet Union, the United States wanted to prove that it was competent in the space race. There was funding at this time because there seemed to be a mission to accomplish. Once the United States won the race to the moon, and returned several times, there was no real reason to continue. In addition, the Cold War was coming to a close, so the public support for the project was waning as well. Sights were set on other space exploration instead.

NASA missions are funded by the United States Congress. If they wished to take another trip to the moon, then they would have to present a compelling case for why it was necessary. After six previous landings, there does not seem to be a pressing reason to return once again when so much of the universe remains unexplored. Another trip to the moon would cost a significant amount of money, which would have to be funded by either shifting money from other projects or through an increased budget. Neither of these options are favorable, thus the project has not been seriously considered.

Without a political motive, the cost is just too high and funds can be spent better elsewhere. Space Adventures, a company based in Arlington Virginia, announced in 2005 that a trip for two to the moon would be available for a low cost of 100 million a person. The costs of space travel and research are so high that 100 million dollars is considered a bargain. Due to these exorbitant costs, a seventh manned mission will most likely not occur any time soon without some kind of political motive.

Former President George W. Bush proposed an ambitious plan in 2004 for building a permanent, international space station on the moon. This project would be a launching pad for further exploration to Mars and deeper into space. Instead of being a race with other countries like the Apollo missions were, this project would be an international effort. He claimed that exploration is a part of human nature, just like the desire to explore the unknown lands of the Earth was years ago. However, NASA has expressed doubts about this program�s completion. Once again, lack of funding has become a roadblock for the space endeavor. Project Constellation as it was called�NASA�s plan to send astronauts to an asteroid and then to Mars by using the International Space Station as a stepping stone�is no longer active, according to their website. Perhaps this plan for permanent residence on the moon will eventually be achieved, but a great deal of funds would need to be raised in order to do so.

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