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Returning to the Moon! Will The Artemis Mission Provoke Wonder Or Be Met With A Collective “Meh?” — 7 Comments

  1. Returning to the moon is a thing that has been discussed for a very long time, with various presidents saying we are going back, etc. — and so far it has never happened. I hope it does happen, but for now I am in the ‘meh’ category, not because I am hung up on cyber stuff, but because I’ve gotten excited about stuff before.

    (Just how long has the new space telescope been on the verge of launch?)

    • Sadly, I fear the “meh” might win out. I sure hope it doesn’t. I really appreciate the “guard your heart” approach that you suggest. When people get let down, there comes a point that detaching one’s heart from a desire is needed. I’m not there yet, but perhaps I should be. I would love to see a mission to the Moon!

      And I completely understand the new space telescope argument. Something I learned at FAW was that space missions need to have a practical aspect that can benefit humanity. I know a new set of Moon missions will lead to technological advancements, but why should we go other than the natural desire to explore? I sure wish that was enough to merit the trip, however!

  2. To the Moon? Absolutely yes!
    I’m 59, so I remember the glory days of Apollo.
    The driving reason for those days is gone(thankfully and hopefully never to return?) But it was our first venture out of the “nest” and into our back yard. Another step is obviously Mars, but I do not think we have sufficient knowledge or experience without taking a great risk of tragedy/setbacks. The Moon offers us a chance to do some backyard camping, and a springboard to future endeavors! I don’t think it’s “meh” so much as concern for the immediate problems of the world that will delay us.
    Yeah, I’m still waiting for my Chevrolet flying car, but great alternatives/benefits have come along due to the “Space Race”. We just have to make sure a mal-programmed HAL9000 doesn’t control the internet.
    “Sorry Dave, I can’t let you go to the Moon”

  3. I can think of no single project that would more thoroughly reignite public enthusiasm for the space program than a permanent human presence on the Moon. Live pictures of Lunar colonists exploring its canyons, mountains, volcanoes, and craters would surely be “must see” television. The amazing images we get from robotic probes to asteroids and comets, or from Martian rovers, all to often are met with a “Meh” BECAUSE THERE ARE NO PEOPLE IN THEM. Just look at all the photos in your family albums from vacations years ago. The pictures of waterfalls or mountain streams are given scarcely a glance (no matter how beautiful), while the photos of family members standing in front of that same scenery are treasured and memorized.

    • I love your optimism Bob and hope that putting people on the Moon will reignite interest in the space program! Question: I get your point about rovers, but what how would you respond to this argument: It would would make more sense to send rovers because it would cost less and we could do more science vs sending a person to the Moon but the expense of keeping people safe would limit the science that could be done on the Moon? Curious to get your thoughts (or anyone else’s).

  4. In the short run (which is, I guess, were we are right now) it does make sense to send out robots. They can go to places humans cannot (like the radiation soaked environs of Jupiter or the truly hellish surface of Venus), and can endure years-long voyages out to the distant parts of our Solar System. And true, with robots we do not need to worry about expensive (and heavy) life support systems.

    But.. and this is a HUGE but… if something goes wrong or needs repair on a robotic probe, there is (usually) no way to fix the problem. A human “handyman” could possibly with the twist of a screwdriver or a tap with a hammer save millions of dollars of hardware that would otherwise have to be written off. And even our most sophisticated of robotic probes (such as the Curiosity rover) cannot operate with the speed of human explorers. It’s been years since Curiosity landed on Mars, but it still hasn’t traveled further than an Apollo style crewed rover could have traversed in a single day!

    So quite contrary to human explorers “limiting” the amount of science that could be done on the Moon, they would greatly increase it.

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