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Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the we're-here dept.

United States 211

An anonymous reader writes On July 20, 1969, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. Neil Armstrong would say later he thought the crew had a 90% chance of getting home from the moon, and only a 50% chance of landing safely. The scope of NASA's Apollo program seems staggering today. President Kennedy announced his moon goal just four years into the Space Age, but the United States had not even launched a human into orbit yet. Amazingly, just eight years later, Armstrong and Aldrin were walking on the moon.

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It's a fake! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494183)

Just kidding, the real doubters come a bit lower down.

Not going to happen again any time soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494487)

Not as long as you have someone with three muslim names as commander in chief.

Get this: Hussein installs a black guy in as NASA chief, and telling him that the "foremost" goal of NASA is NOT science, is NOT space flight, but is, literally, to make Muslims feel better. This guy says in an interview:

"When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering

http://www.space.com/8725-nasa... [space.com]

Thanks alot, assholes, for electing this guy.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (1)

Vladius (2577555) | about 3 months ago | (#47494577)

And what affect does that have on our manned space flight program? None. It was George W Bush that killed it. The solution he pushed isn't going to be past development for years to come. Business doesn't see the money that's up there due to their inability to see beyond the next quarterly earnings statement. Get over stupid your "OBUMMER IS RESPONSIBEL FOR ALL THE WORNG AnD BAD AND EVIL IN THE WORLD" schick. It's long past old. It's just plain stupid. Obama's not perfect but he has had more foresight than any President in modern history. It's too bad people like you oppose him on "principle", even things you once supported. The Tea Party is stupid, corrupt and mindless. Just like your corporate masters intended.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495089)

President says that NASA isn't there for space exploration anymore, but to make bunch of sand niggers feel good about their shitty lives and nonexistant achievements and you don't see it as a problem?

It's always the other guy's fault. (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 months ago | (#47495433)

You're right - we don't get to blame Obama for everything until he's out of office, and then we can spend two terms doing so. Obviously people blaming him now are simply jumping the gun.

That being said, we shouldn't have a manned space flight program. It's a ridiculous luxury item, and frankly, even the moon shot was more about hubris and cold war competition than actual science.

Space flight is important, space exploration is important, but slinging meat bags into space is decidedly *not* important.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (2)

Gonoff (88518) | about 3 months ago | (#47494597)

Get this: Hussein installs a black guy in as NASA chief,...

I'm not from the USA so I don't understand your country but your joke? confuses me. Hussein is dead. His fellow Iraqis hung him after a lengthy trial. Also, it has not been seen as a common role of anyone from the USA to help Moslems feel good about anything. You have it in your constitution to keep church & state separate. That's why nobody would get elected president if they were an atheist or anything but a follower of a western variant of Christianity.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (5, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 3 months ago | (#47494763)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

"Barack Hussein Obama II"

Nutters like to use Obama's middle name because of the negative correlation with Saddam Hussein.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (3, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#47495141)

I suspect it has more to do with it sounding Islamic / non-American.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495405)

Irony: A country made of and founded by immigrants that is extremely xenophobic and hostile towards immigrants.

Re: Not going to happen again any time soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494853)

Exactly. Which is why Obama was quick to promise everybody he believes in the Zombie Jesus. We all know he's lying though

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495295)

He wanted the guy he appointed as the administrator of NASA to do something. That's different from the underlying role of NASA itself.

I know, it's hard for right-wing nutbars to comprehend that, but you can even tell that from the quote, if you don't want to read it maliciously.

Re:Not going to happen again any time soon (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495673)

NASA has suffered a series of layoffs and cutbacks. If they spend ONE DIME in that enviroment making "muslims feel better about themselves" that's one dime too many.

You think that's absolutely lovely, though.

And you can ME a "nutbar". When you find absolutely NO ISSUE with the administrators statement? NO ISSUE WHATSOEVER? Not only that, but you PRAISE IT? And I'M a "nutbar"????

Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494205)

Sure it happened. Look at all the evidence.

no doubter here, I watched the launch (4, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | about 3 months ago | (#47494209)

our family drove down to Florida, hauling our new 17' trailer, partly to see the launch and partly to visit Grandmother. up at 4 am to drive down Cocoa and park on the side of the road. when that Saturn came up over the rise, the noise was monstrous, quiet as a churchmouse until that first lick of yellow-orange showed.

a stunning achievement. from that effort came chips, medical telemetry, Lord only knows what.

our driver of innovation today? cat pictures and dashcam video of accidents.

Re: no doubter here, I watched the launch (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494219)

Aliens stole your [shift] key.

Re: no doubter here, I watched the launch (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47494537)

Around here, the aliens are more interested in the stuff we keep in our garages.

Re:no doubter here, I watched the launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494271)

" from that effort came chips, medical telemetry, "

No, those came first.

Decoy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494367)

It's amazing how gullible people are.

See, that rocket was an unmanned decoy that eventually crashed into the Atlantic. Then they filmed the crew and landing at a studio.

The capsule was then dropped from a B-52 at 60,000 feet to make it look like it reentered to the Navy crews - after taking blow torches to the heat shield.

The astronauts were put under heavy North Korean brainwashing so that they'll will insist to their deaths that there were in fact on the Moon.

Do not get me started on how Obama is actually working with Dick Cheney in taking over the Government and having George W. Bush as the figure head of their Socialist Muslim Dictatorship financed by oil interests in the Middle East backed by the Israeli military and Massad.

Re:Decoy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494459)

and we put the gun from the grassy noel in the same storage locker as the left over moon stuff.

also any one see capricorn one

Re:Decoy (2)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47494545)

We learned this from Grassy Noel, the famed British snitch.

Re:Decoy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494625)

I thought he meant the Grassy NoÃfl , but JFK wasn't shot at Xmas .

Re:Decoy (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 3 months ago | (#47494633)

Well at least it wasn't his brother, Gassy Noel.

Re:Decoy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494513)

It's amazing how gullible people are.

See, that rocket was an unmanned decoy that eventually crashed into the Atlantic. Then they filmed the crew and landing at a studio.

The capsule was then dropped from a B-52 at 60,000 feet to make it look like it reentered to the Navy crews - after taking blow torches to the heat shield.

The astronauts were put under heavy North Korean brainwashing so that they'll will insist to their deaths that there were in fact on the Moon.

Do not get me started on how Obama is actually working with Dick Cheney in taking over the Government and having George W. Bush as the figure head of their Socialist Muslim Dictatorship financed by oil interests in the Middle East backed by the Israeli military and Massad.

I think your Tin Foil hat is loose

Re:Decoy (4, Informative)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 3 months ago | (#47495249)

And the retroreflecting prism arrays [ucsd.edu] sent to the moon, that anyone with a big enough laser can bounce a beam off and determine what the distance of the moon is at the moment, were presumably put up there by Elvis on his way home. Hell, it's just a few pairs of his rhinestone trousers that fell out of his trunk.

Re:Decoy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495431)

No, that's an alien moon-base thats reflecting signals from the moon. Its real purpose is that its part of HAARP and used to reflect beams from Earth for both mind- and weather-control.

Re:Decoy (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 months ago | (#47495605)

I think the mods fell victim to a Poe [wikipedia.org] there.

Re:no doubter here, I watched the launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494679)

Serious question: Why can't you be bothered to capitalize? It looks horrible and is rude.

Re:no doubter here, I watched the launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495097)

he capitalized all of the proper nouns. what's the big deal, Hitler?

Re:no doubter here, I watched the launch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495645)

That makes it even more, rude. It's intentional, like people who use ridiculous fonts to draw attention to themselves.

Where were you when the Eagle landed? (2)

david.emery (127135) | about 3 months ago | (#47494213)

This is one of those events where you remember where you were when "The Eagle has Landed" and "One Small Step..." For me, it was a gas station in Jackson Center, PA for the landing (we were driving home from our summer place.)

Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494659)

Grandparent's house, watching on B&W TV, age 6 and a half.

Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 months ago | (#47495173)

I was eight. We were glued to the TV at home. Heck, we were glued to the TV at elementary school too! Everyone was in awe of this - anything seemed possible.

And then I remember Apollo 13 - biting my nails, hoping and praying those brave souls were going to make it home.

Back to the present, and wondering if we'll ever get out there again.

Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (1)

david.emery (127135) | about 3 months ago | (#47495437)

My 1st grade teacher lived close to the school. She marched her entire class to her house, where we watched John Glenn on the TV in her living room.

Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 3 months ago | (#47495583)

I was six. At a friend's house. I had sprained my ankle, so his dad carried me downstairs so I could watch it on TV with everyone.

Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 3 months ago | (#47495625)

I was 17 at the time. I remember watching Armstrong get out of the capsule and walking around then later that afternoon looking up at the Moon in the sky in awe to thing that human beings were up there.

Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (1)

Verio Fryar (811080) | about 3 months ago | (#47495729)

I was 2 months old, so I don't remember anything.

I was six years old watching that (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494225)

Like a lot of geeky little kids, I saw the grainy black&white television with my family, and was *amazed*. The National Gegraphic that came out with the wonderful moon maps and photos was a treasure of my childhood. So were the years of National Geographic and Analog on the family bookshelves. It was only 30 years later that I realized just how *deeply* Dad delved into the leading technologies of his time. I didn't get to see him much, because he was supporting almost a dozen immigrants. But all the boys, and some of the girls, learned machine shop basics in the basic with him.

That moon landing has inspired generations of Americans to reach out and do *amazing* things. And in the midst of the Cold War, to make it one "giant step for mankind" instead of a claim for our own nation. Combined with the 'Outer Space Treaty' to prevent militarization of outer space, it makes me proud as hell that we've visited there.

And we are going *back*, dammit. SpaceX, *go, Go, GO*!!!!!!

Re:I was six years old watching that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494317)

Outer Space Treaty? Like this one? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

worst. headline. ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494229)

Day before yesterday turns two days old!

worst. headline. ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494449)

Umm what? Where in the world is it the 22nd of July now?

And today (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 3 months ago | (#47494233)

The United States has abandoned its manned space exploration capabilities, relying on another semi-derelict cold-war era launch setup, provided by a country it's on the brink of war with (Russia), preferring to funnel almost unlimited funds to anti-terrorism and Orwellian surveillance programs instead...

I'm was born during the cold war. Tensions between the US and the USSR weren't ideal by any means, but at least when I was a kid, we looked forward to a bright future of scientific achievements and space exploration. Now all I look forward to is reaching retirement age with some money on the side that's still worth something despite the inflation, hoping that WW3 and the religious crazies don't overwhelm the world before I kick the bucket.

Sad, sad world...

Re:And today (4, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 months ago | (#47494257)

nonsense, the US has many manned space programs in development and some of them are private. Exciting times are coming

Re:And today (2)

itzly (3699663) | about 3 months ago | (#47494443)

You must be confusing pork barrels with actual intent to produce something that works.

Re:And today (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 3 months ago | (#47494507)

many pork-barrel projects also happen to produce working systems; hell in defense and space that's par for the course

Re:And today (1)

Vladius (2577555) | about 3 months ago | (#47494591)

The only light on the horizon is SpaceX. NASA is part of the government and with our current Congress of Republican non scientific assholes NASA's going to such for the near future. Branson's Virgin Galactic is nothing more than a toy for a rich billionaire.

Re:And today (2, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47494887)

how can you blame the republicans for the state of nasa? bush had the funding in place when he left office, obama gutted the program, and made one of NASAs missions, sorry their "formost" mission is increading the relationship with muslims. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

explain to me what reaching out to muslims have to do with space travel????

there is alot of blame to go around, but a lot of it belongs on obama

Re:And today (0)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#47495115)

The space program is languishing because Democrats cut budgets everywhere they could to fund Obamacare. You can't blame Republicans for this one.

Re:And today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495713)

"The space program is languishing because Democrats cut budgets everywhere they could to fund Obamacare. You can't blame Republicans for this one."

The US House of Representatives is responsible for appropriations bills and is controlled by Republicans. If you want NASA funded contact John Boehner.

Re:And today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494917)

We would have reached far beyond this solar system had they continued to put everything like it was in the beginning.

Commercial spaceships are fucking toys. Private companies can never have the sort of resource that US government could utilize.

Re:And today (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494811)

at least when I was a kid, we looked forward to a bright future of scientific achievements and space exploration. Now all I look forward to is reaching retirement age with some money on the side that's still worth something despite the inflation, hoping that WW3 and the religious crazies don't overwhelm the world before I kick the bucket.

Sad, sad world...

So then what did you and your generation do to contribute to a bright future of scientific advancement and sustainable retirement plans that you wanted? You kicked the can down to my generation from what we can see.

Re:And today (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 3 months ago | (#47495627)

So then what did you and your generation do to contribute to a bright future of scientific advancement and sustainable retirement plans that you wanted? You kicked the can down to my generation from what we can see.

You're welcome.

"......same as it ever was ....same as it ever was ....same as it ever was ...."

It's not a miracle (4, Insightful)

AikonMGB (1013995) | about 3 months ago | (#47494247)

As Jim Lovell put it:

From now on we'll live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It's not a miracle, we just decided to go.

There seems to be this perception that space travel is this incredible thing. It is awesome for sure, but it is fully within our grasp to do with as we please. One of my favourite arguments against the conspiracy theorists goes: if NASA were willing to fake the Moon landing, they would have done something else by now.

Let's reach for the stars again!

Pffft! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494383)

if NASA were willing to fake the Moon landing, they would have done something else by now.

They just haven't gotten a decent script yet! Geeze!

I have heard that they are planning a reboot of the '69 Moon landing only making the astronauts women in bikini space suits.

Re:It's not a miracle (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#47494939)

Let's reach for the stars again!

Sure, but how?

Theories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494251)

What in the world can turn the landing module by 45 degrees? Moon dust storm?

Great example (4, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about 3 months ago | (#47494289)

What a great example of what can be achieved with real leadership, and an environment that bolsters creative problem solving and innovation.

Re:Great example (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494933)

Versus todays corporative takeover

We want the money and we want it now
Next year..fuck next year!

And less than four years later... (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#47494291)

... we returned from the last manned mission to the moon [wikipedia.org] . For a while it seemed like it was going to be a routine event, then we just gave up on it. We haven't put a man on the moon in over 40 years now.

Re:And less than four years later... (2)

itzly (3699663) | about 3 months ago | (#47494453)

It's because people got bored doing the same thing over and over. Beyond the novelty factor, there's just not much purpose in sending people to walk on the moon.

Re:And less than four years later... (4, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#47494921)

It won't be long before the 12 human beings to walk on the moon are dead. Already we are down 8. Soon there will be no living person who has walked on another world.

I wonder if time will show this period to be the high water mark of the human race. With all the existential threats facing us it could work out this way.

Generations before us (3, Interesting)

sinij (911942) | about 3 months ago | (#47494315)

Great generation defeated Nazis, landed on the moon; Baby Boomer generation built Internet and tackled racial and gender issues. What are we doing other that building surveillance state and wealth inequality?

Re:Generations before us (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 months ago | (#47494329)


Great generation defeated Nazis, landed on the moon; Baby Boomer generation built Internet and tackled racial and gender issues. What are we doing other that building surveillance state and wealth inequality?

We're trying to deal with the surveillance state and the wealth inequality that was produced by the system the "Greatest" generation created. Likely several generations will be required to dig out from under it.

Re:Generations before us (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494475)

Actually (though I accept that your post was largely US-centric and this is a world-centric answer) we are radically reducing absolute poverty, significantly improving the education of women worldwide, developing an unprecedented understanding of the genetics of disease, controlling cancer better than ever before, structuring and disseminating information in a way that the generations before us could only imagine, developing the kind of natural language translation and portable, low-power computing that makes that information more available to countries whose citizens were knowledge-poor, focussing on energy efficiency and recycling, modelling and mapping our own planet with the kind of diligence necessary to fully answer the space age era "we've been to the moon but we don't know what's at the bottom of the ocean" rebuttal, and an awful lot more.

There are many many things we do now that even the baby boomer age would have found difficult to believe.

Re:Generations before us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494567)

We're trying to deal with the surveillance state and the wealth inequality that was produced by the system the "Greatest" generation created

It's not the WW-II generation that created this surveillance state. It started in earnest under Clinton and has expanded every since. It came well after the WW-II'ers were long retired.

Re:Generations before us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495175)

We're trying to deal with the surveillance state and the wealth inequality that was produced by the system the "Greatest" generation created

It's not the WW-II generation that created this surveillance state. It started in earnest under Clinton and has expanded every since. It came well after the WW-II'ers were long retired.

Ha ha ha ha ha you're so naive. Does the NSA scandal in the 60s-70s ring a bell ?
What's happened since then is that Congress abdicated its role to counterattack the worst excesses of the executive branch. The reality is that the us kids post ww2 have been brought up on a lie. A necessary lie but a lie nonetheless. And the US was doing shit things 60+ years ago. But I guess that's too far a time to really remember what the US policy was like. Bringing war and misery to all those that didn't tow the US line. Guess things the more they change the more they rest the same eh ?

Re:Generations before us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495731)

J. Edgar Hoover [wikipedia.org] was dead nearly 20 years before Clinton was President.

Re:Generations before us (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 3 months ago | (#47494635)

The primary accomplishment of my generation, the Boomers, was to start a meme in which hatred of every new technological advance was the default position. On the day of the first Apollo landing, when I was 21, the Greatest Generation was glued to its TV sets while we Boomers were out protesting against the "astropigs." Today, this is why you young people are mostly out of work.

And we didn't invent the Internet either. It slipped through our clutches because it has no single large facilities, like power plants or launch stands, that we could legislate out of existence.

Re:Generations before us (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#47494775)

Baby Boomer generation built Internet...

Baby Boomer generation monetized the Internet, and left us AOL in the wreckage. Then again, the "greatest generation" sent them to Vietnam to settle a trade dispute. Guess which program lasted longer.

Re:Generations before us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495161)

There, I moved your comma:

Great generation defeated, Nazis landed on the moon.

Considering Vietnam and von Braun's rank probably more appropriate.

It's right there! (2)

Tteddo (543485) | about 3 months ago | (#47494331)

I was 5 watching the landing on TV and I remember being kind of annoyed that they preempted the cartoons that morning. I mean what's the big deal? The moon is RIGHT THERE (pointing up)!

Re:It's right there! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494387)

I had just turned 4 that morning and was watching the landing. Enough said.

Re:It's right there! (1)

real gumby (11516) | about 3 months ago | (#47495459)

I was also 5 years old. I didn't really understand what the USA was but all of us were totally space mad (we would draw pictures of rockets and moon landers, but put Aussie flags on them). My parents got a TV just to see it. All of the landings were tremendously exciting. Even Apollo/Soyez was exciting.

I am sure the space program was the reason that as an older kid I thought of the US as the cool place where they just got awesome shit done. And I was quite happy to move to the States, and I live and work here now.

It's sort of sad that my kid considers the US the boring place and prefers to spend his time working in "dynamic" countries.

What if we hadn't? (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#47494349)

I'm kind of curious what the space program would look like today if we hadn't sent people into space and had only used remote landers. About half the current Slashdot audience is critical of manned space exploration and prefers robotic exploration only. Would we be more or less down the road of space exploration if we hadn't done a manned moon mission?

It cost a lot of money to send people to the moon vs. just robotic stuff, but I wonder if there would be as much interest in it if we had never sent humans to the moon.

What if we hadn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494503)

To return from the moon, you're already in Earth's gravity well, so the energy cost is relatively cheap. To return from Mars, you have to launch whatever you send off a frikkin planet, and get it back to Earth without and support structures at the remote launch site. That's just not doable. We went to the moon because it was doable, the Soviets were only a few years behind but scrapped their project once the Americans did it. Because it's basically pointless to do so. That's also why the Americans stopped going there. It's a waste of the budget and resources.

Sure, it was a nice accomplishment, but right now manned space programs any further out are pretty silly.

Re:What if we hadn't? (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 3 months ago | (#47495383)

That's also why the Americans stopped going there. It's a waste of the budget and resources.

And those resources were redirected into more bombing of Vietnam.

Re:What if we hadn't? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 3 months ago | (#47495357)

One of the things I always like to point out in the "Manned versus Unmanned" arguments is comparing the amount of lunar material brought back. The Apollo program returned something like 800 KG of moon rocks. The Soviet Union's landers returned something like 0.8 Grams of moon dust. And those rocks were brought back because an astronaut (who in later missions was trained in geology) actually thought they were interesting, whereas the moon dust returned by the Luna probes was whatever happened to be within reach.

So it costs a lot more. The question is, do you get more value out of a manned mission versus a robotic mission? Apollo brought back 1,000,000x the amount of lunar material for 1000x the cost. So if you're just calculating based on those numbers, Apollo gave a better return than the Luna program. But that initial cost was pretty off-putting.

As people at NASA and others have pointed out, what the rovers have accomplished on Mars could have been done by an astronaut in a couple of days.

An analogous issue is time versus money. I could buy a ticket on the Concorde way back when and get from New York to London in three hours for $6000. I could buy a ticket nowadays on a non-supersonic transport for maybe $1500 that would get me there in 8 hours. The question is, is it worth the extra $4500 to get there five hours earlier?

Mars isn't really changing. There's really nothing about Mars we need to know right now, such that it would be worth spending that initially large amount of money to find out.

Re:What if we hadn't? (1)

itzly (3699663) | about 3 months ago | (#47495425)

On the other hand, if somebody had made it a goal to send an unmanned probe to collect a ton of moon rocks, it could have been done too. Scaling from 0.8 grams to 0.8 tonnes is just a matter of using a bigger rocket.

when we dared to seize the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494357)

I remember watching on my parent's B&W TV. This was part of what inspired me to pursue engineering, and to get a couple of degrees, first in mechanical and then manufacturing automation engineering. I had no idea what was to come. Clearly.

So yeah, I remember this. Back with America dared to dream, and to act on those dreams.

Re:when we dared to seize the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494623)

But if we dare to dream about universal health care, the leisure society or life extension for the species, that's bad.

PR stunts involving test pilots in rubber suits tacked onto the military contractors who build ICBMs, that's OK. Because the species wants to go camping on the Moon.

You know, the species with untreated illnesses who still need to work just to get food.

"live" coverage on NASASpaceflight.com forums (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494411)

NASASpaceflight.com site is doing a nice forum coverage "live" as if this were happening now. The site does these coverages on all launches and have a massive pile of detail on the Apollo 11 flight.

About 5 hours from landing as I write this. Really interesting bits coming up.

Current "LIVE" tread for the landing: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35227.0
Earlier thread that covered the flight from launch up until lunar orbit: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35180.0
Discussion thread for "in character" commentary as-if-it-were-45-years-ago: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35181.0

Damn cool to follow... new posts covering what's going on posted according to the historical timeline, taken from the transcripts of the mission and with screen shots from historical TV broadcasts & links to videos of them.

Boring Hollywood movie. (0, Troll)

abrahamOH (3712519) | about 3 months ago | (#47494423)

Old US propaganda from 60s.
Everything was possible back then. Now, when technology is here to catch any fakes, no one makes any attempts to do "Moon Landings"

This chapter of US history is so pathetic.

Re:Boring Hollywood movie. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494505)

You're so naive. Nasa landed on the moon but made it look fake. At the same time, they launch the "moon hoax" theory in order to divert attention from other dealings from the US governments. Moon hoaxers are actually part of the conspiracy. How much money does the US government pay you to propagate those fake conspiracies?

Gil Scott-Heron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494435)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtBy_ppG4hY

US, the moon. China, mars. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494463)

China is the new United States. It has a "future belongs to us" mindset that the US had in the 1960's. It values science and math, and it's willing to invest in its own future. It has many problems it has to solve, social and economic, even bigger ones than the US has, but it will solve them because it has the will to do so.

The US has fewer problems than China, but lacks national will and foresight. It gets tied up petty bickering and political infighting. It no longer values science or understands how much of what it takes for granted has come from basic research in science and technology. Entire fields it once dominated, in everything from medicine to technology, are moving step by step to countries like China. It's little by little strangling its former best-in-the-world national labs, NASA, and other national assets. It's shipping its technology over to China wholesale as industrial theft and voluntary outsourcing of production transfers the know-how elsewhere.

The US is Rome in the last of its days, trying to hang onto its position in the world, but watching the future slip through its fingers.

Re:US, the moon. China, mars. (3, Interesting)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 3 months ago | (#47495467)

US may be more like Byzantium, a slow centuries-long decline. Reliving its past glories "safe" behind its invulnerable walls.

Civilizations rise and fall. Its not clear who's next. China is making rapid progress, but it isn't clear if they will regain their millennia long place as world leaders, or crash and burn on the next economic downturn. I hope they make it though - I'd rather it were us, but I want someone in space.

Gil Scott-Heron on the moon landings (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494465)

This always makes me laugh: whitey on the moon [youtube.com] .

In Nam (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494491)

I was in Nam at the time, captured, in a stick cage.

I heard about it from the guards, one of em pointed to the moon and made a motion like a gun.

Like now the USA could just shell them with artillery from the moon.

They were scared that the USA would shoot them .. from the moon.

Re:In Nam (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 3 months ago | (#47495003)

Interesting. Didn't realize the VC were into Heinlein.

Because Slide RUELZ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494541)

No crapping javascript-based shit running everything, for they would surely have perished with the shit software of today.

Re:Because Slide RUELZ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494617)

Nonsense! My MBA tells me that an agile scrum methodolgy using noSQL and ruby-on-rails would have go us there in half the time!

How did they launch from the moon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494661)

It's interesting to hear Armstrong say that he thought returning would be easier than landing on the moon. I've never understood how they were able to launch from the moon back towards Earth. Launching from the Earth requires massive infrastructure and huge rockets. Yes, the moon's gravity well is shallower, but still significant. How did they launch from the moon with no infrastructure or giant rockets?

Re:How did they launch from the moon? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 3 months ago | (#47494905)

I've never understood how they were able to launch from the moon back towards Earth. Launching from the Earth requires massive infrastructure and huge rockets. Yes, the moon's gravity well is shallower, but still significant.

It's because the fundamental equation that relates a rocket's performance and the mass fuel it requires to orbital velocities is exponential. This makes it work out so that any chemical rocket leaving earth has to have the vast majority of its weight as fuel, where as a rocket leaving the moon only about half of its weight as fuel.

What's more, the entire lunar module and its fuel supply is dead weight as far as the earth launch is concerned, which makes the earth rocket and its fuel multiple all the bigger. Then there's the issue of bringing along enough fuel to slow down the craft into lunar orbit, and escaping lunar orbit back to earth. The lunar lander didn't need to handle any of that, either.

There's more to this than just the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494683)

Next was the space shuttle. It held back the US, and with it the world, a good twenty to forty years. Its "cheap" flights weren't, but nothing else could replace it while it hogged the spot.

I'm not sure I want the US romping around in space and on the moon, n'mind beyond, so all in all I'm not too unhappy about this. But it's something you should be aware of. The whole thing was entirely politically driven and internal politics just isn't that great a driver to say "hello" to the wider universe, with or without aliens in it.

And yeah, neither do I particularly want Russia, or China, or Brazil, or India, or whoever else, to go there. We need to work on our attitude first, all of us. This is something the American People could use to be but are not going to be the world's first in, n'mind foremost.

The biggest problem with the space shuttle (1)

FeriteCore (25122) | about 3 months ago | (#47495265)

The biggest problem with the space shuttle wasn't tiles or tanks or SRBs or O-rings. Or even needing to practically rebuild it between flights.

The biggest problem was that the first four orbiters should just have been the Mk-I model. All those things that were found to be problems in the Mk-I model should have been improved or even fixed in the MK-II and subsequent orbiters.

Yes, they made improvements in the later orbiters based on early experiences with the Columbia, and fixed the O rings after the Challenger accident, but there never was a truly improved model.

 

Re:The biggest problem with the space shuttle (1)

joe_frisch (1366229) | about 3 months ago | (#47495439)

While I agree with this, I think there is also the issue that the shuttle was not a very good general purpose launch vehicle - or more correctly general purpose launch vehicles do not seem like a good engineering solution.

For missions where you need to send men and equipment into orbit and bring them down again the Shuttle is fine. If you just want to put cargo into orbit, the extra weight and complexity is not worth it. If you just want to put men in orbit and return them, then a smaller vehicle works.

The design of launch vehicles is so marginal that it is not worth providing for a lot of mission flexibility. The early shuttle concepts recognized this and had non-returning heavy-lift variants.

The greatest generation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494705)

Fucking baby boomers would never be able to pull this off. Hell, they're why the world is deteriorating so badly. People can't handle abundance. They squander it all.

Where's the "allegedly"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47494945)

I don't see the word "allegedly" anywhere?

Editors, did you somehow miss this, or deliberately omitted it?

Re:Where's the "allegedly"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47495087)

I don't see the word "allegedly" anywhere?

Editors, did you somehow miss this, or deliberately omitted it?

Allegedly is up your ass.

For those who didn't see the Buzz Aldrin ama (3, Informative)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 3 months ago | (#47495293)

Check this out to see Buzz Aldrin answer questions on Reddit not too long ago [reddit.com] The way the guy speaks is a more romanticized version of humanity and space exploration. It is good to see someone still have a positive attitude about things.

Forget men on the moon... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 months ago | (#47495415)

...why aren't we sending more robotic probes? Putting meat bags in space is completely overrated - we need to get better at developing the robust systems necessary for autonomous and semi-autonomous probes.

I know this is a swift kick in the nut sack for all those astronaut wannabes in the air force out there, but frankly, the quickest way to get meat bags somewhere else is to have a bunch of mechanical devices head out there first and build the infrastructure necessary to support meat bags. The sheer inefficiency of manned space exploration is phenomenal, and if it is going to have a place, it's gotta come after we've laid the necessary groundwork with unmanned probes.

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