Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Apollo's legacy may be holding the U.S. back in space

I looked uncritically at NASA and the Trump Adminstration's goal of returning humans to the moon in Seeker on the U.S. returning to the Moon plus India's moon lander.  At the end, I also wrote "I plan on posting an entry in which I feature videos from both Verge Science and Vintage Space taking the position that the legacy of Apollo is actually hindering U.S. efforts to return to the Moon and go on to Mars.  Stay tuned."  It's time to examine the less helpful legacy of the Apollo program on future space flight, beginning with someone who went back to before the beginning of NASA and looked at key moments all the way up to today, Amy Shira Teitel of Vintage Space, who uploaded Apollo's Legacy is Keeping Us Grounded on July 20, 2019.

Coming from an space enthusiast who specializes in studying Apollo-era spaceflight, that's a strong thing to say.  She's not alone.  Verge Science also thinks the legacy of Apollo explains Why NASA hasn’t gone back to the Moon and does it more succinctly and with higher production values.

NASA has big plans to return to the Moon by 2024, and it’s banking on the historic Space Launch System (SLS) to get them there. But after years of delays and cost overruns, skeptics are questioning whether SLS should remain the biggest priority for NASA. As the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing approaches, we take a look at what the future of solar system exploration might bring.
Paradoxically, the memory of our success and how the U.S. achieved it may be holding us back now more than inspiring us.  That's depressing.  Here's to hoping that NASA can work through the issues of its own legacy of success.

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