It was in 1972 that the last man walked on the moon. Eugene (Gene) Cernan.
Eugene Cernan: Last Man on the Moon
By Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor | January 16, 2017 04:17pm ET
Eugene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon. He visited the moon’s neighborhood twice, aboard Apollo 10 and Apollo 17, and also did a challenging spacewalk aboard Gemini 9.
While he chose not to fly in the shuttle program, Cernan remained involved in space as a motivational speaker and sometime television commentator who worked on ABC broadcasts about the space shuttle. He died on January 16, 2017.
For all mankind
As Cernan prepared to climb up the lunar ladder for the last time, he paused and spoke these words:
“As I take man’s last step from the surface, back home for some time to come – but we believe not too long into the future – I’d like to just (say) what I believe history will record. That America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow. And, as we leave the Moon at Taurus–Littrow, we leave as we came and, God willing, as we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind. Godspeed the crew of Apollo 17.”
He and his crewmates returned to Earth on Dec. 19, 1972.
So a few days from now it will be 45 years. Anyone under that age has never been alive when a person was on the moon. It would take at least 5 more years to get back there IFF we were actively trying. But we are only really at the talking about stage. I suspect the next people to walk on the moon will arrive from Asia.
But there is some small hope.
Trump has said he wants us to return.
Trump wants to return to the moon. A Purdue alumnus, Gene Cernan, was there last
Nate Chute, IndyStar Published 6:59 p.m. ET Dec. 11, 2017 | Updated 9:41 a.m. ET Dec. 13, 2017
It’s been 45 years since a Boilermaker took the last human steps on a surface outside of the Earth. If President Donald Trump gets his way, he won’t be the last.
This week, the U.S. President signed a presidential order to direct NASA to prepare a return to the moon, a move seen as a launchpad to further exploration of Mars.
The order tells NASA to partner with U.S. aerospace companies that already started to develop their own lunar missions. During the Cold War, the space agency looked to military pilots to take them into space.
But both Boeing and Elon Musk have their eyes on making a Mars landing (and the history books / front page press).
Boeing says it will beat SpaceX to Mars
Oct. 6, 2016, 1:04 PM 23,698
Less than a week after SpaceX founder Elon Musk detailed his vision to get people to Mars, a rival aerospace company has intimated that it plans to beat Musk (and everyone else) to the punch.
However, Musk is probably OK with that.
Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing (one of SpaceX’s biggest competitors) casually loosed the remark during a session of The Atlantic’s “What’s Next?” conference.
“I’m convinced that the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding on a Boeing rocket,” Muilenburg said during the recorded event.
The the schedules seem to evaporate as soon as they are spoken. The above link has Musk saying launches in 2018 to get things started, about 2020 to Mars. Yet already the Boeing schedule (that is supposed to beat him there) is looking way out to 2030.
Boeing Eyes Moon-Orbiting Space Station as Waypoint to Mars
By Douglas Messier, Space.com Contributor | September 27, 2016 02:30pm ET
Boeing’s plan involves assembling the station between 2021 and 2025 by using payload space available on five launches of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft. The five components of the station include two habitat modules, an airlock, a logistics module, and a power bus and augmentation module. [5 Manned Mission to Mars Ideas]
Elbon spoke about the company’s ambitious plans at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space 2016 meeting in Long Beach, California.
Crews would spend the rest of the 2020s evaluating environmental control and life support, habitability, logistics, operational procedures and vehicle systems in the radiation-rich environment of deep space, Elbon said.
Under the Boeing plan, a mission to Mars orbit would follow in the early 2030s, with a landing on the surface to follow in the mid- to late 2030s.
Comfortably beyond the tenure of anyone likely to be on the hook for voting funding… and with a tidy dozen years of profits in the bank as contracts are rolled over.
I do hope someone, anyone, gets things going in space again. But even the Chinese are shooting at the 2030s for a moon landing.
April 29, 2016 / 12:15 AM / 2 years ago
China aims for manned moon landing by 2036
BEIJING (Reuters) – China wants to put astronauts on the moon by 2036, a senior space official said, the latest goal in China’s ambitious lunar exploration program.
So a 20 year wait ahead for them to get there.
Is it really that hard to re-invent technology that’s 1/2 century old?
Remember that Apollo was designed years before it first flew, based on the best ideas from the 1940s Nazi rocket builders. I know it was a technical feat to do it in the 1960s, but we DID do it. Did nobody save a copy of the plans?
Is the best this generation can do but to try to make a copy of something from the post World War II generation?
I’d really expected (then) that we would be able to book commercial trips to the Moon, and have asteroid mining of precious metals in quantity, all by about 20 years ago. Others thought that too. ( It is 2001 A Space Odyssey, not 2040 A Space Attempt after all…)
I guess I’m still gullible, though. I keep reading those stories and thinking “This time for sure!”… but please, guys, try to get it done in the next decade. I don’t think I’ll have much more than that of fully functional time to enjoy the show and process (and certainly not going to be able to go myself in 20 years).
I find myself thinking “I would have liked to have seen Montana” (Hunt For Red October) as a theme for our lunar efforts since 1972… “I would have like to have seen Mare Smythii”…