Why NASA hasn’t gone back to the Moon


(dramatic music) – [Loren] At the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, big things are afoot. This massive factory floor
holds major components for NASA’s new rocket, the
Space Launch System, or SLS. It’s the centerpiece for
NASA’s Artemis Program, a series of missions that will send the first woman to the Moon. When the SLS is finished, it’s going to be something to behold. Standing taller than
the Statue of Liberty, the finished version of the
rocket will rival the power of the Saturn V that took humans
to the Moon during Apollo. – [Launch Control] Engine run-up, liftoff! – SLS is really going to be the backbone for going and exploring deep space. There’s no other rocket
out there that can do that. – [Loren] But the finished rocket has been years away… for years. – So between now and June of 2020, we’d have to make that a reality. – This is 2019.
– Yes, sir. – [Loren] The project has been plagued with delays and cost overruns, and today, 50 years
after the Moon landing, it’s worth asking whether the US can reclaim its Apollo mojo. – [Mission Control] Apollo 11, this is Houston at one minute. Trajectory and guidance look good and the stage is good, over.
(radio beeping) – The heart of the
problem may be that NASA’s trying to do things too
similarly to Apollo, and that might not work today. The perfect storm of money and politics that helped Apollo succeed
just may never happen again. Apollo occurred during
a very volatile time. It was the height of the Cold War, and the US needed a show of strength against the Soviet Union. President John F. Kennedy
was advised that space could be a great way to
prove America’s worth on the global stage, so he called on NASA to
send a person to the Moon by the end of the 1960s. – We choose to go to the Moon. – [Loren] Congress backed
up the proposal with cash, and NASA’s annual budget
grew to more than 4 percent of the total federal budget in 1965. Today, NASA is maybe half a percent. Industry also rose to the challenge. NASA assembled an army of contractors, including Boeing, North American Aviation, Douglas Aircraft Company, and IBM. Together, they built the
giant Saturn V rocket that eventually took humans to the Moon. (rocket rumbling)
(violin music) Kennedy’s call to arms paid off. – [Neil] That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. (dramatic music) – [Loren] Today, a half-century later, NASA still wants to do big
things with big rockets, and to build the SLS, they’re playing their greatest hits in hardware and expertise. The Space Launch System has
a lot of Saturn V vibes, but some of that is dictated by physics. If you want to launch a lot of stuff off of Earth in one piece, you need a big rocket to break free of our planet’s gravity. But the SLS also shares
a lot of technology from NASA vehicles of the past. For one, the SLS will be
using the same main engines as the Space Shuttle, which
flew from 1981 till 2011. – We know those engines very well. They’ve flown so many
missions on the shuttle, so there’s not a lot of risk in those. And in engines, you know, new development of
engines can be expensive, so we really traded risk
versus the cost-benefit of it. – [Loren] Many of the Saturn V contractors have stayed in NASA’s inner circle, too, Boeing in particular. They acquired Douglas and North American, and they’re now the prime
contractor on the SLS. Overall, the endeavor
is a big job creator, responsible for thousands
of jobs in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and more. Michoud itself is deeply
embedded in the regional economy. – This facility actually
was built to support the war effort in World War II, and it developed and we took it over at the Saturn program in the ’60s, and NASA’s been here ever since. – [Loren] All in all,
the vehicle’s development can be found across America. – I would struggle to find a
state that didn’t have a piece. The whole country’s involved. – [Loren] But that deep history,
all the way back to Apollo, might also be a liability. – So human spaceflight
programs since Apollo have made up the majority
of the NASA budget, and the majority of those programs are performed by aerospace contractors. – [Loren] This is Lori Garver. She was the deputy administrator for NASA under President Obama. Lori says those contracts
have been so long lived that they’ve locked NASA
into certain technologies, mindsets, and dollars. – No one wanted to compete, and competition is where
you drive down cost and advance innovation. This has been something that unfortunately has held back the program. – [Loren] The SLS has cost
around $14 billion so far, which seems like a lot until
you consider that Apollo cost roughly $264 billion
in today’s dollars, according to analysis from
the Planetary Society. Congress would probably never give NASA an Apollo-era budget again, but NASA is still trying to pull off an Apollo-like program
for less with contractors who don’t have a
reputation for cost saving, and some policymakers are taking notice. – NASA and the contractors
have to execute. Failure to do so could have dire consequences for the program, and there will be no one else to blame. – [Loren] The politics
of cutting the program entirely are tricky. Lori told us a very revealing story. During her tenure as deputy, she actually tried to
cancel NASA’s last big plan to return humans to the Moon:
the Constellation program. The way she tells it,
that didn’t go over well. – The military industrial complex didn’t want to let go of their contracts, and that is a huge force to overcome. – Ms. Garver’s plan would
cede control of the heavens to the Russians and the Chinese, probably for most of our lifetime. – And we weren’t able to overcome it. A combination of the contractors, some of the people within NASA who are really committed
to keeping these jobs, sold Congress, and we
were given an ultimatum that we had to do a big
rocket or we wouldn’t get Commercial Crew and
the technology programs and the Earth sciences
programs that we wanted. So we took the deal. – [Loren] Constellation
was ultimately canceled. – This is because the old strategy, including the Constellation program, was not fulfilling its
promise in many ways. – [Loren] But the contractors
and hardware endured, and one of the proposed
rockets for Constellation was resurrected as SLS. And today, in spite of all
the delays and overruns, there’s a faction in
Congress, led by lawmakers from states where the SLS is built, who are dedicated to
continuing the rocket, seemingly at any cost. – What’s important is to build that rocket and build it right, isn’t it? – [James] Yes, sir. – [Loren] This all adds up
to a feeling that the SLS has become too big to fail, that NASA is trapped by its own mythology. – We have been trying to relive Apollo. – [Loren] So NASA’s core philosophy hasn’t changed much in 50 years, but what has changed? An entire private space
industry has appeared, and they’re building capable rockets with a lot of power. In 2018, SpaceX debuted
its Falcon Heavy rocket, which is currently the
most powerful in the world. And other players like
The United Launch Alliance and Blue Origin are
developing heavy-lift rockets that could also get a lot
of cargo into deep space. None of these rockets are as powerful as the SLS will be when it’s finished, but they represent serious competition. Some critics suggest that
these private players could supplant the SLS entirely, getting NASA out of the
business of building rockets. – [Journalist] The mighty
Delta IV Heavy rocket. – [Loren] NASA obviously
disagrees that any one rocket needs to beat out the others. – It’s not an either/or, it’s an and. We need all these pieces. We’ve got to have all of us
working together, public and private. I can see in the future
where it’s kind of like the intercontinental railroad
where they were built, they were funded by the government, but eventually they were self-sustaining, and people could travel across the country and move and live elsewhere. That’ll happen in the future. – [Loren] Lori agrees that
the commercial industry alone won’t take us back to the Moon. There’s just no money in it yet. – Going back to the Moon, I’m not sure what the private market is. Certainly Mars, same question. I know we have very wealthy
people interested in doing it, and that’s wonderful. We need to be realistic about
the fact that the government will continue to lead those
programs as they did launch for quite a long time. – [Loren] NASA is working with
private industry more, too. Rather than building their
own human lunar lander, they plan to pick a
commercial company or two to develop vehicles in their own way. Companies would get a lump sum of money, build the hardware, and
would ultimately own the design and tech when they’re done. NASA is confident that we will
return to the Moon in 2024, but maybe what’s missing
is why we’re going back. NASA claims that the Moon is a great stepping stone to Mars as it will help prove
out the technology needed to survive on the Red Planet. They say there’s more science to do. There are minerals and water to mine, and eventually, companies
could make money there. But again, the urgency of the
Cold War just isn’t there, and multiple polls show
that most Americans don’t see the value in
going to the Moon either. Lori, for one, thinks NASA needs
to become essential again, and today, that might
not mean building rockets or going to deep space at all. – My view, we need to win
at something right now that NASA is uniquely skilled to do, and that is address climate change. The science is there;
we have satellites 24/7, public and private, and
recognizing that the things that we can do to fix it, we must do in the next 10 years. NASA, given that mandate,
could take that hill. – [Loren] NASA, on the
other hand, still sees space as a cause to rally behind. They’ve come this far with the SLS, and it’s still NASA’s job to rally. – We don’t leave any
dollars on the Moon, right? Every dollar we spend
is here in this country putting this together and going, but it’s the learning we get and the benefits for humanity
that come out of this. We are on the leading edge,
and we can choose as a country to follow or we can lead the world, and I choose to lead. (dramatic music) – [Mission Control] Apollo
11, this is Houston. You are go for TLI, over.
(radio beeping) – [Astronaut] Apollo 11, thank you. – [Mission Control] Roger that.

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100 thoughts on “Why NASA hasn’t gone back to the Moon

  1. Don Pettit says we can't go to the moon.So how are we gonna go to mars? Magic? Look for yourself. He states we lost the technology to go to the moon.Lost all the tapes some 500 boxes of the greatest achievement of mankind… Wake up! NASA doesn't go anywhere. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16MMZJlp_0Y Look for yourself..
    Space is only in your imagination. Peace be with you.

  2. They covered the whole ship with gold tin foil and managed to go through the radiation belt. Wrapping the entire ship nowadays will cost a fortune. So there.

  3. NASA did not go back to the moon because they lost all data and technology that brought(?) us there before.😜😜😜😜

  4. Why NASA hasn’t gone back to the Moon ?  Because we are stuck here on the Big Blue Marble.  No one is going anywhere in space until we can figure out how to get there.  So for now it is called "FAKE SPACE"

  5. Fantastic video Verge Science~!!!!!!! 🙂 it's very sad so many of the comments posted were from low-brow basement dwellers~!!!!! 🙂 Keep up the good work~!!!! Thanx~!!!

  6. Do you love trump… do the humpty dump… Dump Dump lmao tony tartaglia's bitch ass bout to be put on blast… hey Tony… Kiss the fattest part of my ass crack

  7. This whole article about the SLS is b***** this is just a way for them to keep a project in line and on the budget so that they can stay there spending the money on this rocket and the program when they're spending it on black projects shut this s*** the fuk down and where is the money going to go to next stop this fake bulshit with lying to everyone that we are alone you have f**** aliens living on our planet amongst us right now that you know about and everyone of you that are involved are in violation of the direct order of the Constitution of the United States and it is a form of high treason punishable by death there is no prison in this case all of you are guilty a bunch of f**** Liars

  8. They would have had to go in the first place in order to go back. The whole damn thing is the biggest joke in history. Takes about 5 minutes to learn Russia had rockets half the size of Saturn, with 4 times the thrust!!LOL. Now lets take a quick look at the suits, that they counted every stitch for weight, but each suit had a sunglasses pocket hahahahah. Lets talk pressure, TOR 1.34 can crush a 1/2" solid steel tanker. 62 miles above earth the level is TOR0.0000006, at the height of the moon its estimated at TOR 0.06 to the 17th power. Strongest vacuum in the world can simulate TOR levels of 62 miles up, takes 72 hours to pump out air and it takes 10 foot thick walls layered with concrete and steel to contain. The seals used can only be used 1 time because the pressure warps them. All that for the pressure levels of 62 miles up, you really think a cloth suit can be stronger than 10 foot of steel and concrete. If you want the truth of NASA and the moon landings, watch faking space. I dare you fan boys to watch one episode and still say it happened in all honesty. Its time the truth is out, wake up people. Use the God given critical thinking skills before they are completely gone. Tech. will be so good in another couple years they will be able to fake it to a point where nobody will be able to tell the truth. That's what they are counting on for the return trip. Take a look into how much money NASA has put into VR, AR, and other high end graphic manipulation programs. Ask yourself why NASA needs such software. Then watch footage from the 70's up til now and notice the progression of special effects quality. From scale models to AR in 50 years, that's the real achievement. If the younger generation can not put all this together and see the truth, fluoride has done its job and may God help us all.

  9. you cant go back to the moon when in the first place you never when to the dam moon its all a scam people are stuipd sheeple

  10. I'd be a alcoholic too if i sacrificed my mom named moon a year before I faked the moon landing to make people not believe in god. Buzz aldurn better repent to everyone and tell the truth or else he is going to burn.

  11. I'd be a alcoholic too if i sacrificed my mom named moon a year before I faked the moon landing to make people not believe in god. Buzz aldurn better repent to everyone and tell the truth or else he is going to burn.

  12. My dream of watching a movie in black and white is impossible because that technology is too expensive even though my phone is 100 million times more powerful than the computer they used to control the rocket

  13. The fact that NASA provides so many jobs is a good and primary reason for it's existence. It's status as an American star of the world space industry would also be of significant value. Otherwise NASA is just a front organization for the real space program: the Secret Space Program, newly announced by President Trump. In reality this is a move toward disclosure of the SSP that has been in operation since the 1980's. We already have multiple installations throughout the solar system and possibly beyond including very advanced space stations that make the ISS look like a toy.

  14. Something seems wrong here. The problems they faced in the 60s were far greater than what they face today. This is like trying to replicate the Wright Brothers' flight. It can be done at 100th of the cost in 100th of the time. We have better computers, better materials, smarter engineers, robots, better communication systems, and the list goes on. Those guys in the 60s were awesome! Unless they didn't really go, but that's a ridiculous thought.

  15. Trying to re-live Apollo because we never landed on the moon in the first place. The suggestion that we did anything otherwise is ridiculous. NASA has extorted Trillions from Americans and so has the Fed Res. People should be outraged by this video.

  16. Its not a Space Race anymore. Its a Business. Bureaucracy must Back Off.
    Why one big rocket? We can stage at or near the ISS, then assemble a Moon Base in orbit. Also containerized. For Safety.

  17. People: why NASA hasn't gone back to the moon
    Nasa: we lack funding
    People: It is Neil Armstrong really go to the moon?
    Nasa: that has been set up in the Hollywood studio and it cost us a small budget only

  18. Nasa has gone back to moon several times from apollo 11 to apollo 17. They are tired to going there again and again. So they stopped.

  19. Ha ha ha whatever it is keeping us from going back thinks we were told about them over 40 years ago and now while mining the moon on there off time digging in the dust come to this big beautiful planet sightseeing and observation.

  20. If anyone payed attention. It's already been revealed that we have a space force already in place. NASA is obsolete. Pork payouts to bloated contractors for obsolete technologies. We have people flying around in, let's face it, UFO's.

  21. I don't think we have the skills to go to Mars or anywhere else. We cannot go through the van allenbelt which God put above and beneath the Earth. And I don't think God makes anything which is inferior. Climate change is a joke. Earth changes are cyclical, and are not caused by God!

  22. Short answer : No big purpose and not enough funding. Also NASA have many other missions to dl, moon is not the only thing they care about and they can study moon better and cheaply with satellites, rovers and stuff.

  23. Gov doesn't want solar exploration & colony settlements because to many ppl would leave Earth.

    "No one wants to compete" 😆 Elon Musk said "challenge excepted"

  24. Aliens have told US government not to get back to the 🌕 ,it's simple as that.Alirn live on the moon and there's no dark side ,they just use a reflectors to cover up the moon white.Niel Armstrong spoke once about meaning those aliens.

  25. We've been had women on the MOON!! Oh how we're being lied to about the history of the so-called blackman and the history of the earth and her past ancient civilization of whom the government and the Vatican is trying to come up with a new lie and say ALIENS are responsible for our presence on the planet ASIA of which the lying ass Pope calls earth!!! Moreover, the earth, the plane….et is FLAT…A FLAT PLANE…SEEMINGLY INFINITE!!!!

  26. Ken Thomas

    How many of those ”deadly solar flares” came straight at the Earth/Moon system???
    Because, those going in different trajectories are of No concern at all…

  27. I dont listen to vocal croackers vocal croacking is a form of insanity i also prefer not to listen to people who suck on cocks

  28. In my youth (I am 60 now) I was an investigator-I also once worked for the DHS and the US Army. My Dad was in SAC (1950s-1960s) I have come to the conclusion that Apollo was faked and that does not mean I know for sure we cannot go to Deep Space by some other means. A guy named Corey Good says we can and do (and I dont believe him/dont disbelieve either) NASA is CIA and CIA is Mossad (to a degree) 9/11 was not what we think (no bin Laden involved except as a CIA asset) and the 1986 Challenger explosion did not cost the lives of 7 astronauts (see 6 of 7 of those CIA agents still alive in old age) Klagemauer TV has been a great help and it does appear..one more thing, I am not even sure that the serious (I dont mean the CIA pretenders) FLAT Earth people are entirely wrong. It may simply be we are in some kind of "video game" or sim and the Earth need not be "round" as reality is in particles and wave form. All that matters is what we believe. That's why one could have a "Messiah" who comes to Earth (with the evil Jews..of course!) and says over and over again…"your belief has healed you." and other things like "the god of this world" and things like "Is it not written that Ye are gods?"

  29. Let's not do this, it's just embarrassing. I think we should strap the frauds in leadership to the SLS and launch them into the stratosphere to prove the point.

  30. Because all the Apollo missions were fake. They only have sketchy videos as proof. Since those fake vids were made no human has ever been outside of Earth Low Orbit… Not even 0.02% of the distance to the moon… So with all this BS talk… First send a human 5% or 10% of the distance to the moon before you run this scam talk again. NASA is nothing but a make work program… Kind of sad.

  31. Why not just use the Space X rockets; Falcon Heavy and BFR are great rockets that would do the job just fine! That way NASA could focus it's manpower and resources into more important things than just blasting shit into orbit…

  32. The problem with moon visits is the dust it gets everywhere and is very radio active causing eye irritation fatigue and it's somthing they cant deal with.

  33. We should be able to send unmanned missions to the moon to see if we could keep mice or some other small animals alive there for a long term.

  34. if you sent people to the moon way back in the day … and found aliens living there…. your astronauts saw it… you had them sign NDA's … and had a hellova time in covering the whole shit up…. but one of them still spilled the beans…would you want to deal with that again? in today's internet and social media society?

    I dont think so….

    another thing to consider is they keep talking about mars INSTEAD… which is even further ? but they dont want to talk about the moon ? or say that we'll go back to the moon… then after a few years state all the reasons (expenses) why they cancelled it ….. but still keep mentioning that they wanna go to mars instead…..

  35. Let’s take all this waste of money help homeless in California provide better health insurance and balance budgets

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