"the ability to send reconnaissance and other satellites over a foreign nation for any non-lethal purpose free from the fear of attack on them."..."Orbiting reconnaissance satellites served more than virtually any other technology as a stabilising influence in the Cold War."However that was then and this is now: these days there’s nothing to jolt politicians into action, although apparently a 'few space enthusiasts are confident that America will return to the moon soon.' Alan Bean, one the dozen people who have actually walked on the moon put it well:
"I don't see us doing a heck of a lot, until someone threatens us."Incredibly, even though that first orbit was 50 years ago...nearly 30 years ago NASA killed the successful Apollo program and at that time astronauts were still exploring the moon's craters and plains. "Two rockets ready to carry crews to the lunar surface were left to rust after NASA cancelled moon trips." Then came the shuttle (first launch 1981)
"Though a marvel of engineering, in its 100-plus flights the shuttle has only gone around and around the Earth. It can't do anything else."This is why, we can assume, they attract such little interest. Most interest is on Mars and beyond, but NASA administrator Michael Griffin argues that 'NASA needs to test equipment and procedures on the moon before undertaking a trip to Mars. On the moon, "we're going to learn things that we'd be silly to skip," he says, calling a moon base "an enormous risk-reduction" tool.' You have to agree with him; I've never understood why they stopped the moon missions; I cannot accept the excuses of expense although a majority of Americans thought the Apollo program wasn't worth the cost (as well as boredom?...having 'won' the race etc) Public support for human space exploration is, and always has been, "a mile wide and an inch deep" says Launius but the other thing, as far as I can see, it's the one thing that lends credibility to the moon-landing hoax accusations because, as far as politicians are concerned, when has the cost ever mattered?