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The reason for the closure of lunar programs and why we will not fly to the moon again in 2024

The reason for the closure of lunar programs and why we will not fly to the moon again in 2024 1

When rereading both the works of science fiction writers and the works of futurologists of the 60-70s, one can note signs of unbridled optimism in assessing the prospects for space exploration. If we consider only official forecasts, then the first flights to the moon should have been followed by the creation of a permanent base on the satellite in the mid-70s. 

The end of the 70s dated the appearance of a nuclear rocket engine, the beginning of the 80s manned expedition to Mars, and in the 90s, flights to the borders of the system. The very first interstellar probe (automatic, subluminal, designed for decades of flight), as it was believed, would be poisoned no later than 2025.

Overestimating the speed of technological progress? Oddly enough, no. The technical prerequisites for the implementation of projects arose within the specified timeframes, but the projects themselves were not implemented, even if there were no obstacles. Having lost the “moon race”, the USSR simply abandoned the idea of ​​manned flights beyond low orbits. The developments necessary for something more ambitious than the Moon, NRE – at the stage of a high degree of readiness – in the USSR and the USA ceased in the mid-70s. 

Futurologists did not take into account such a factor as the meaningfulness of spending. First the space and then the lunar races were motivated by political rather than scientific interests. A base on the Moon would require enormous costs, but the selenologists did not consider its construction expedient. 

As it seemed then, all the necessary information about the Moon had already been collected, and the costs of manned flights turned out to be unnecessary. Existing automatic devices could solve (and solved) the same problems 15-20 times cheaper.

If the construction of a launcher for an interstellar probe in orbit will require 25 years of the combined efforts of mankind, and then it will fly for another 25 years to the nearest star in order to rush through its system in less than a day, then where is the guarantee that in the same 50 years there will be no telescope to study exoplanets? Such telescopes appeared.

The main obstacle to the development of manned astronautics is the improvement of automatic systems that make it possible to do without a person on board.

NASA does not know what to do with the Van Allen radioactive belt, which surrounds the earth at an altitude of 15 thousand km. There, the gravity of the earth weakens and particles: protons and electrons rush at a completely crazy speed close to the speed of light. That is, it is necessary to design ships in a special way so that people do not die from radiation sickness and equipment is not destroyed by radiation. Those foil modules that we were shown on the moon are clearly not suitable. 

Of course, there is a version that humanity was simply forbidden to visit the Moon – but it seems to more plausible that we ourselves cannot.

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