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Old 02-22-2018, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
12,446 posts, read 11,231,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
...The question which poses in my mind is why not send a robot lander to the Moon first before moving on to Mars?...
Because we've already successfully landed seven on Mars...

Viking 1
Viking 2
Mars Pathfinder/Sojourner
Spirit
Opportunity
Phoenix
Curiosity
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:36 AM
 
Location: PRC
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Yes, Mars Viking I was launched in 1975. There were supposed to be further Apollo launches which never happened and were cancelled after Apollo 17 in 1972.

I know political will has a lot to do with these things and budgets are revised and chopped too. The thing is... the budgets were not really chopped because, as you point out, it was only a few years before we went to Mars with Viking I so the money must still have been available to continue the development in the background, ready for Viking I launch in 1975.

Space programs are supposed to take years to develop the technology, testing, etc so they must have already known they were abandoning the Moon in favour of Mars.

What has the Mars program got to do with the abandoned lunar program? What we were discussing is WHY they abandoned it when they knew they were going to spend the money anyway on the Mars spacecraft and landers. My point was that they had not finished investigating the Moon and they could have used the Moon as a testing site for development of future martian exploration. It is easier to reach too.

Now many of the space-faring countries say they will be looking at the Moon for the next stage of their space exploration. Maybe they will by-pass the Moon too? If so then what is the real reason behind this.
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:21 PM
 
7,129 posts, read 3,895,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Yes, Mars Viking I was launched in 1975. There were supposed to be further Apollo launches which never happened and were cancelled after Apollo 17 in 1972.

I know political will has a lot to do with these things and budgets are revised and chopped too. The thing is... the budgets were not really chopped because, as you point out, it was only a few years before we went to Mars with Viking I so the money must still have been available to continue the development in the background, ready for Viking I launch in 1975.

Space programs are supposed to take years to develop the technology, testing, etc so they must have already known they were abandoning the Moon in favour of Mars.

What has the Mars program got to do with the abandoned lunar program? What we were discussing is WHY they abandoned it when they knew they were going to spend the money anyway on the Mars spacecraft and landers. My point was that they had not finished investigating the Moon and they could have used the Moon as a testing site for development of future martian exploration. It is easier to reach too.

Now many of the space-faring countries say they will be looking at the Moon for the next stage of their space exploration. Maybe they will by-pass the Moon too? If so then what is the real reason behind this.
Read about the canceled Apollo Applications Program and the Mars Voyager program (not the same as the later Voyager probes).
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:06 AM
 
Location: PRC
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Quote:
Read about the canceled Apollo Applications Program and the Mars Voyager program (not the same as the later Voyager probes).
Either you have the funds to continue to employ these NASA scientists or you dont. There is no advantage to shifting the focus to other programs when the first one(Apollo) is going well and objectives had been fullfilled. It still costs money to employ the personnel.

I can see that the Apollo Applications Program was an attempt by NASA to retain the scientists and engineers who they may need in the future and according to Wikipedia the AAP was tasked at looking at other projects including a Lunar Base, a Venus Flyby, and as you say, the Mars Voyager program of landers.

This does not shed any light on why they stopped the Apollo program as they were starting in 1968, already looking at a Lunar base project. So it looked as if any funding which may have appeared in the future should have been allocated to making the best of the advantage they already had - by being the first people to land on the Moon. The next logical step is to cement that advantage by building a base there too. That was obviously what they were thinking by planning for it. (Yes, I know they often consider many other diverse projects and scenarios long before they "need" them in order to be prepared)

Why then was the Moon abandoned in favour of Mars? It does not make logical sense.

Last edited by ocpaul20; 02-25-2018 at 02:14 AM.. Reason: added urls
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:43 AM
 
1,410 posts, read 1,113,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Why then was the Moon abandoned
Human space exploration is expensive, without enough public support the government won't do it.

There won't be meaningful human space exploration until there's a commercially viable reason to do so. I hope that time is now, but we'll see.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:25 PM
 
5,115 posts, read 4,719,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
Why then was the Moon abandoned in favour of Mars? It does not make logical sense.
Who said that exploration of the moon was abandoned? The Russians conducted their own unmanned missions until 1976, the Japanese have sent probes in 1990 and 2007-2009, the Europeans sent probes 2003-2006, and the Chinese have their own lunar probe missing currently underway.

As for a mission to Mars, it's the new space race, just in a slower format. It has the nationalism and egoism aspects as well as the scientific aspects going for it.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:03 PM
 
Location: PRC
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Quote:
Who said that exploration of the moon was abandoned?
You know what I meant, I meant BY THE STATES not by other countries. PERCEIVED nationalism and scientific interest yes, but artificially generated perhaps? As we all know, research can be 'guided' by the flow of money towards a particular direction.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:27 PM
 
5,115 posts, read 4,719,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocpaul20 View Post
You know what I meant, I meant BY THE STATES not by other countries. PERCEIVED nationalism and scientific interest yes, but artificially generated perhaps? As we all know, research can be 'guided' by the flow of money towards a particular direction.
So I gotta ask - so what if "THE STATES" lost interest in the Moon....

I already pointed out that the US focus shifted to Skylab, the space shuttle, various long range probes, and scientific satellites. More science was done by the Hubble telescope than the last Apollo mission - and at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 02-27-2018, 01:45 AM
 
Location: PRC
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The scientific community does not just lose interest in an area where there is still science to be done.

It is the people who fund that science who direct the research. The scientists propose areas of study and the money people either allow it or deny the funding of that research.

If the states lost interest, then we have to go back to the original topic of this thread and ask why did they ? Particularly since space exploration continued into other areas which it seems it did.

New discoveries are sexy and promote space science. They also give a 'gold star' to the government which proposed the idea. LIke "lets go to the Moon" caught people's imagination. Now, if we had continued and discovered other cool things, then that too would have perpetuated or renewed the momentum for the science in the eyes of the people who enjoyed science/space subjects.
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Old 04-20-2018, 01:07 AM
 
Location: midwest
1,446 posts, read 1,057,275 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdhpa View Post
There was no economic reason for private industry yet. I hope there is now.
We should have had robots exploring/prospecting the Moon for 10 years now. The Moon is close enough to control the robots from Earth. I do not see the point of sending men yet. Robots do not need food, air and water, and could be operated 24 hours a day in shifts.

The man on the Moon trick of the 60s was a political ego game with the Russians and electronics was not nearly as good as it is now.
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