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The entire world watched in awe as the first manned moon mission safely and successfully touched down on the moon's surface. After all the promise and excitement of the Apollo 11 mission, it seemed that more manned missions to the moon were sure to follow. And for at least three years, they did. NASA saw a small, but significant, series of missions reach the lunar surface again between and It was launched after midnight on December 7th, making it the first manned night launch of a U.
The mission broke records for longest time spent on the surface of the moon, longest time in lunar orbit, and longest total extravehicular activities. Despite the success of this, and previous Apollo missions, the White House had originally planned to cancel the Apollo program after Apollo Apollo 16 and 17 managed to go ahead as planned, but ultimately after NASA was faced with too many obstacles to allow their manned lunar missions to continue.
For over 30 years, the fate of manned lunar missions seemed uncertain. In addition to its goals to complete the construction of the International Space Station, the Constellation Program sought to bring another successful manned mission to the moon by the year The program was predicted to run from until Unfortunately, the program only officially ran until , and was officially shelved by President Barack Obama in Though the Constellation Program was designed to be one of NASA's most cost-effective programs, with an emphasis placed on converting lunar soil into either fuel or breathable air to reduce mission costs, it simply proved to be too expensive to continue.
When Obama took office, he declared that the program was too expensive, too delayed, and lacking in innovation.
List of 6 Manned Moon Landings
Once again, any dreams of putting humans on the moon were dashed. If you cast an eye over the history of space exploration and missions to the moon, you'll begin to see that there are two main reasons why we have yet to return to the lunar surface. To put it in the most simple terms, there simply hasn't been enough money or interest to put towards manned moon missions since The Apollo 17 mission preceded a major oil crisis, that had many questioning the need to divert valuable funds and effort into space exploration.
Furthermore, interest had waned since the first moon landing. As landing on the moon had no real, practical applications or benefits, it failed to maintain public and political support. It was easy to rally around the dream of putting a man on the moon when it was part of an intense scientific and innovative race against the USSR, but as the Space Race wound down so too did widespread interest in leaving the planet.
Humans have visited Earth's moon with flybys, robots, and crewed missions.
Federal budget. Today, it receives just 0. Ultimately, the progress required to put a man on the moon in the first place, paired with the enormous amounts of labor and capital, simply weren't sustainable.
Thankfully, we've come a long way since , in more ways than one. For starters, we no longer have to depend on government agencies when it comes to space exploration.
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The past decade has seen the rapid progression of privately-owned space exploration enterprises, who are keen to do everything from bringing tourists to the surface of the moon to establishing Martian colonies. Elon Musk's SpaceX is just one company with plans to transport people to the moon once more. The company has been planning commercial tours to the moon for some years now, though these plans have been delayed as of late.
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