The last time Eugene Cernan went to the moon was in 1972. Even after more than 50 years since then, no human has been sent to the moon. Image Credit source: Lexica.ai
America’s space agency NASA had sent 3 astronauts to the moon through the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. One of these was Neil Armstrong, who became the first person to step on the moon. This incident became a milestone in human history. Even after this, NASA sent six more Apollo missions. Five of these missions were also successful. In this way NASA took 12 astronauts to the moon in 3 years. But in 1970, the next Moon missions were also cancelled.
On this day in the year 1972 i.e. on 11th December, NASA’s last Apollo mission Apollo 17 landed on the Moon. Why is NASA still not able to send humans to the moon even after a long time of 5 decades?
Why was the first Moon mission launched?
Why is NASA not launching a human Moon mission now? To know this, first we have to understand why the agency had sent humans there. Humans were interested in space earlier too. But in the 1960s, the situation became such that there was a race between America and the Soviet Union to reach space.
Both countries wanted to land humans on the moon before each other. The result was that America’s 35th President John F. Kennedy in 1961 Plans were announced to safely send an American to the Moon before the end of the decade. The Apollo program spent many times more money than the US government estimated. near America won the space race by spending 25 billion dollars. Today the cost of the same program is approximately $300 billion.
Economic changes changed the situation
After the first successful moon landing, citizens and the government were not so interested in space missions. to win that race andonce we reach the moon The need for more missions to the Moon has ended.
Sending humans to the moon was also proving to be very expensive. NASA’s annual budget dropped from $4 billion in 1969 to $3 billion in 1974. After the Apollo program, NASA also started focusing on deep space exploration, Sun, Mars and other celestial bodies.
Robots replaced humans
Even though NASA is not sending humans to the moon, other countries except America have become capable of sending humans into space today. Till now many people have been sent into space. But sometimes these missions have also proved fatal. These included the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of 2003, which became the reason for the death of the first Indian female astronaut Kalpana Chawla.
The value of human life has also been one of the reasons for not sending humans to the moon. Sending rovers instead of humans proved to be more beneficial. Instead of a few days, they can spend time on that planet for months with less expense and danger. Recently, India also sent Pragyan Rover to the Moon with Chandrayaan-3 mission. This rover also gave very important information while staying on the surface of the moon.
Will humans ever land on the moon again?
It is not that humans will not go to the moon again. In fact, now even private companies have started the business of sending humans into space. Space agency NASA also started the Artemis program in 2017. Its purpose is to send humans to the Moon again and to gather more information about the Moon. According to NASA’s website, in this program it will land the first woman and the first black person on the Moon.
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