Why NASA Never Returned To The Moon After Apollo

By | November 10, 2022
Why NASA Never Returned To The Moon After Apollo

NASA's SLS moon rocket, whose rollout was
delayed by fuel leaks, unrelated glitches And finally by an approaching hurricane, headed
back out to its launch pad last week for another Attempt to get the Artemis program's unpiloted
first flight underway. It is known that NASA plans to launch an uncrewed
spacecraft as a part of the Artemis I mission. The last manned mission to the Moon was Apollo
17, taking place between 7th and 19th December 1972. It was a 12-day mission and broke multiple
records such as the longest space walk, the Longest lunar landing and the largest lunar
samples brought back to Earth. Then why did we wait another 50 years for
Artemis? What is NASA’s reason to have hit a break
on the moon missions? *Intro* The brief history of our first stint on the
moon kickstarts in 1962, with then President John F. Kennedy’s historic speech. The race to land humans on the Moon was announced
by him in a public announcement at Rice Stadium In Houston, Texas. The speech is now known as the ‘We Choose
to go to the Moon’ speech. In it, Kennedy mentioned his commitment to
getting a human to walk on the Moon by the End of the decade: When the Moon landing took place 7 years later
in 1969, Kennedy’s goal had been achieved, And his deadline met. However, with the goal achieved, NASA faced
large funding cuts and severe backlash, making The future of the Apollo missions untenable. As said earlier, the original plan was 20
Apollo missions, but technological and research Based missions were not seen as important
as the achievement of the Moon landing itself, And the final three missions were canceled. The social and global impact of the Apollo
11 moon landing mission in July of 1969 was Massive. What followed were six other trips to the
massive rock. Only one of these missions failed, and a grand
total of 12 men traversed the moon's surface. Two years before the final manned mission
to the moon, Apollo 17, took place in December 1972, it was announced that all further trips
to the moon had been canceled. The biggest reason had to do with funding. There was no denying that it was ridiculously
expensive. The total cost of the Apollo program, which
ran from 1960 to 1973, cost the United States

A whopping $25.8 billion. Adjusted for inflation that number sits at
a staggering $257 billion. Then there was the question of waning enthusiasm
for the program. Often the object or topic of human fascination
tends to shift. We tend to get "over" things pretty quickly,
and constantly going to the moon didn't seem Like the crazy challenge it was for the Apollo
11 mission once we had done it several times. But, half a decade later, human beings will
soon walk on the moon again, if all things Go NASA’s way. If everything goes as planned, a future mission
could land astronauts on the moon in 2025. Several factors are now driving NASA to get
astronauts back to the moon for the first Time in more than 50 years. One is a long-running desire to get human
beings on Mars. The Artemis missions will test some of the
technology and logistics required to go about Landing humans on the red planet. If the future of humanity is indeed spreading
across the solar system, then logistically, The first stop has to be our own satellite,
the moon. The space race is one of the proudest moments
in American history. But was it practical? Was there any reason for us to go to the moon
other than the fact that it was an astounding Accomplishment? Probably not, but our species found a way
to get off the planet we were put on, and To land an expertly crafted vessel on the
giant night-time floating rock we had been Staring at for some 300,000 years. Speaking of moons, enough about our moon. Let's talk about another moon that has attracted
attention in recent years. Jupiter’s mesmerizing moon Io. Some 40 odd years ago, NASA’s iconic Voyager
1 probe sailed past Jupiter. And as it was flying by Jupiter’s large
moons, it found something amazing, yet terrifying. It found Io. The celestial object with the shortest name
in the universe. It is also one of the most peculiar, and that’s
not because it resembles a pizza with anchovies. This tiny moon of Jupiter’s is fierce, and
you’re about to learn why. Io’s atmosphere is a volcanic world of freakish
extremes. Not a day passes without Io throwing a temper

It is full of lava lakes, liquified rocks
and sulfuric ice. Io is a mystery even after all these years. Unpredictable. Unstable. Impulsive. And one of its greatest mysteries is its strange
radio emissions. In recent times, NASA’s Juno spacecraft
got treated to a private show of Io’s radio Emissions. You can listen to it here: It's a fascinating discovery because these
radio signals are coming from a celestial Satellite. This distinction encouraged researchers to
learn more about what had triggered the strange Radio waves. Many have even speculated whether Io is a
magic energy machine. Basically, is Io a machine? Simple answer, not entirely true. It owes this capability to emit radio signals
to its host planet Jupiter. Jupiter, among all the planets in our solar
system, is known to have the largest and most Powerful magnetic field. It extends so far that some of the planet’s
moons orbit within it. Io is the moon closest to the planet and is
caught in a so-called gravitational tug-of-war Between Jupiter and two other large moons,
Europa and Ganymede. Subsequently, this leads to extreme heating
and volcanic eruptions. Io's surface is peppered with hundreds of
volcanoes, some spewing sulphurous plumes Hundreds of miles high. That is a product of the might of Jupiter. Imagine being a celestial body so swole that
your mere existence causes drastic geological Activity on closeby objects. Although Io is only about the size of earth’s
moon, it still has a huge impact on Jupiter. As we saw earlier, Io being nearest to Jupiter,
cuts across Jupiter’s powerful magnetic Field. This literally transforms Io into an electric
generator . Io has the capacity to develop 400,000 volts across itself and create three
million amperes of electrical current. This then makes its way back along Jupiter's
magnetic field lines and causes lightning

Storms in Jupiter's upper atmosphere. Io orbits within the fiercest field lines
of Jupiter’s magnetosphere, with an off-the-scale Radiation environment. Io’s surface radiation level is 3,600 rem
per day — five times a lethal human dose. As Jupiter rotates, the magnetic forces strip
away about a ton of Io's material every second. The material becomes ionized and forms a doughnut-shaped
cloud of radiation called a plasma torus. Some of the ions are pulled into Jupiter's
upper atmosphere and create auroras. Io’s electrons caught in the magnetic field
accelerate toward Jupiter's poles and, along The way, generate radio emissions. If located in the correct spot, Juno's Waves
instrument can pick up these radio waves. The data that has been collected so far has
been analysed to understand the exact source Of the radio emissions from within Jupiter’s
magnetic field. The conclusion of the research team was that
the radio waves most likely came from a hollow Conical space where the conditions were optimum
– perfect magnetic field strength and perfect Density of electrons. Since the emission is akin to a lighthouse
signal, the spacecraft picks it up only when The ‘light’ falls on the spacecraft. And together, Jupiter and Io become a kind
of a machine, essentially a pulsar. One that is the closest to us. Io’s radio emissions picked up by NASA’s
Juno spacecraft will pave the path to us learning More about Jupiter as well as its state as
a gas giant.