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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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  • by Phrogman ( 80473 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @09:56AM (#42214503) Homepage

    out of the defense budget, and go do both. The US is already the dominate military power on the planet, bar none, so I am sure they could trim the military budget by a tiny percentage without anyone who doesn't wear a brass hat noticing. Whats the saying? "A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon your talking real money?"
    Its nice to think that private enterprise will provide the means to get there (for whatever values of "there") but although its happening, its not happening overnight. NASA needs to continue doing it all themselves until business is established in orbit - otherwise we waste a few decades waiting for it. As well, think of all the scientific discoveries we might make during this moon mission series. The last one turned out pretty well didn't it?

  • by haplo21112 ( 184264 ) <haploNO@SPAMepithna.com> on Friday December 07, 2012 @10:54AM (#42214925) Homepage

    Just gear up and go to Mars, better yet concentrate and figuring out how to build the Fastest damn spaceship possible, something that can reach .5 the speed of light or faster, load some people on board for a one way trip and aim it at a nearby star. Lets stop wasting time looking at blurry pictures through telescopes and just get out there and see what we find.

"It ain't over until it's over." -- Casey Stengel