My wife and I were watching a TV program about the first Moon landing.  We were wondering, with all the new and advanced technology why hasn’t NASA gone back to the Moon?

The reasons why humans have not returned to the Moon since Apollo are complex.  The lack of funds results from a lack of political support, and this is in part related to the ending of the Cold War and of the US competition with the USSR.  Also, the focus of human activity in space shifted back from the Moon to low Earth orbit, with projects like the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station absorbing all the funds available for human flights.  Today, however, NASA has revived plans to return to the Moon, with the first human landings expected between 2015 and 2020; see http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/Vision/index.html.

David Morrison

NLSI Interim Director

February 1, 2007

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Did you know?

The distance to the Moon is measured to a precision of a few centimeters by bouncing laser beams off reflectors placed there by the Apollo astronauts.

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