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Moon NASA Space Science

Apollo Veteran: Skip Asteroid, Go To the Moon 191

astroengine writes "It's 40 years to the day that the final mission to the moon launched. Discovery News speaks with Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist Harrison 'Jack' Schmitt about where he thinks the Earth's only satellite came from and why he thinks a NASA manned asteroid mission is a mistake. 'I think an asteroid is a diversion,' said Schmitt. 'If the ultimate goal is to get to Mars, you have a satellite only three days away that has a great deal of science as well as resources. The science of the moon has just been scratched. We've hardly explored the moon.'" The National Research Council came out with a report a few days ago which found that the inability for the U.S. to find a consensus on where to go is damaging its ability to get there. Bill Nye spoke about the issue, saying, "I believe, as a country, we want to move NASA from [being] an engineering organization to a science organization, and this is going to take years, decades. Now, through investment, we have companies emerging that are exploring space on their own and will ultimately lower the cost of access to low-Earth orbit, which will free up NASA to go to these new and exciting places."
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Apollo Veteran: Skip Asteroid, Go To the Moon

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  • Re:Ralph says (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2012 @10:18AM (#42214641)

    There is a huge difference. If you land on the moon, you'll have to go over 2000 meters/second to leave. Also, the moon has a 14-day light cycle and hundreds of times more resources. It wouldn't be unreasonable to expect it to be possible to build solar-powered railguns that can sling processed materials to orbit for construction of ships or stations. It could also be an excellent place for large telescopes. The only down side to the moon is that it's not entirely stable. It has quakes [].

  • Re:Source? (Score:4, Informative)

    by goodmanj ( 234846 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @11:05AM (#42215007)

    the whole federal R&D budget across all departments was likely less than the $112B in Medicare fraud

    Could you cite sources for this?

    "These claims accounted for $112 million"

    You know, your argument would be more persuasive if you knew the difference between a million and a billion.

  • Re:Ralph says (Score:5, Informative)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Friday December 07, 2012 @11:14AM (#42215095) Homepage Journal

    By 2020, and it's a private venture. []

    A team of former NASA executives will fly you to the moon in an out-of-this-world commercial venture combining the wizardry of Apollo and the marketing of Apple.

    For a mere $1.5 billion, the business is offering countries the chance to send two people to the moon and back, either for research or national prestige. And if you are an individual with that kind of money to spare, you too can go the moon for a couple days.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern