APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

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APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:07 am

Image Good Morning Moon

Explanation: Yesterday, the Moon was New. But on January 9, early morning risers around planet Earth were treated to the sight of an old Moon, low in the east as the sky grew bright before dawn. Above the city of Saarburg in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany, this simple snapshot found the waning Moon's sunlit crescent just before sunrise. But also never wandering far from the Sun in Earth's sky, inner planets Venus and Mercury shared the cold morning skyview. In the foreground are the historic city's tower and castle with ruins from the 10th century.

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by shaileshs » Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:52 am

Tangential question (related to moon) - If NASA managed to land many astronauts on moon till 1972 (they even drove there), after 50 years, achieving same should have been piece of cake (considering that capability/expertise, instruments, technology, money - everything - we have much more/better today than what we had 50 years back) but instead, it seems a BIG struggle yet. Why ? It's as if someone is trying to reinvent the wheel. What am I missing ?

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by Ann » Fri Jan 12, 2024 6:31 am

shaileshs wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:52 am Tangential question (related to moon) - If NASA managed to land many astronauts on moon till 1972 (they even drove there), after 50 years, achieving same should have been piece of cake (considering that capability/expertise, instruments, technology, money - everything - we have much more/better today than what we had 50 years back) but instead, it seems a BIG struggle yet. Why ? It's as if someone is trying to reinvent the wheel. What am I missing ?
And here I had just decided that I wouldn't reply to today's APOD... :wink:

As to why it was "easy" for the United States to go to the Moon in 1969 and in the early seventies, I think it had to do with money and prestige. President Kennedy had vowed, after the successes of the Soviet space program in the fifties and early sixties, that the U.S. would send a man to the Moon and return him home safely before the decade (the 1960s) was out.

Back then, the U.S. economy was booming. It may not have been booming quite as much as it did during the fifties, but it was still very very strong (and light-months ahead of everyone else). I think I remember reading that during the sixties, after that promise made by Kennedy, one out of five federal dollars (tax dollars) went into the Apollo program. Can you imagine NASA today not only getting 20% of the entire federal budget, but getting 20% of the federal budget just to achieve a new Moon landing?

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 12, 2024 2:34 pm

shaileshs wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:52 am Tangential question (related to moon) - If NASA managed to land many astronauts on moon till 1972 (they even drove there), after 50 years, achieving same should have been piece of cake (considering that capability/expertise, instruments, technology, money - everything - we have much more/better today than what we had 50 years back) but instead, it seems a BIG struggle yet. Why ? It's as if someone is trying to reinvent the wheel. What am I missing ?
The Apollo program was massive and costly (and fundamentally military). A program on a scale that has seldom been seen. The challenge today is to find that much money, especially given that there is no compelling reason to send people to the Moon. (The only reason then was to beat the Russians, and there is no real "space race" today.)
Chris

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by shaileshs » Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:31 pm

Thank you Ann and Chris. I can understand the other reasons (not a question of pride anymore, not a military operation anymore.. etc) but with trillions of $$ of spending at federal and state levels in US and with many private companies $$ also coming in, I'm surprised "money (or lack thereof)" is still considered biggest challenge. In Artemis 2-3 programs, I am not seeing anyone saying if we had $50B for this mission today, we'd have sent the human beings on moon tomorrow. I see lots of struggles in competency (skills/expertise) from shuttle lifting into orbit, separation, reaching orbit, landing on orbit without GPS.. etc etc.. And that's where I'm more surprised (and sad) that in 50 years, instead of those things becoming easier, somehow they seem to have gotten more complex (not just pricier) for us to achieve..

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:40 pm

shaileshs wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:31 pm Thank you Ann and Chris. I can understand the other reasons (not a question of pride anymore, not a military operation anymore.. etc) but with trillions of $$ of spending at federal and state levels in US and with many private companies $$ also coming in, I'm surprised "money (or lack thereof)" is still considered biggest challenge. In Artemis 2-3 programs, I am not seeing anyone saying if we had $50B for this mission today, we'd have sent the human beings on moon tomorrow. I see lots of struggles in competency (skills/expertise) from shuttle lifting into orbit, separation, reaching orbit, landing on orbit without GPS.. etc etc.. And that's where I'm more surprised (and sad) that in 50 years, instead of those things becoming easier, somehow they seem to have gotten more complex (not just pricier) for us to achieve..
The price of access to space has come way down with private enterprise because it has caught on to a fundamental truth: it is more economical to let the occasional rocket explode than it is to push reliability out to some absurd number of sigmas. That's not a metric that applies well when we're talking manned spaceflight. It is massively more expensive to put humans on the Moon than it is robots.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by MelvzLuster » Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:49 pm

Happy 2024! That's a good idea, Robots first then humans to the moon or Mars!
Cmdr. Melvyn M. Lusterio
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USS Victory NCC 1967

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by Chris Peterson » Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:52 pm

MelvzLuster wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:49 pm Happy 2024! That's a good idea, Robots first then humans to the moon or Mars!
I can't think of anything that humans can do that robots can't do better. Well, except die.
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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by johnnydeep » Fri Jan 12, 2024 8:00 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:52 pm
MelvzLuster wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 7:49 pm Happy 2024! That's a good idea, Robots first then humans to the moon or Mars!
I can't think of anything that humans can do that robots can't do better. Well, except die.
And "soon" we will have advanced AI that will be even better than humans are at making in-situ decisions. Much as I am still quite fond of the idea that humans will eventually migrate off Earth and explore the universe (à la Star Trek or The Expanse), the current cost/benefit ratio is way too high. The first human death on the moon or in transit will set us back a decade at least.
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"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by Ann » Sat Jan 13, 2024 4:47 am

Chris Peterson wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:40 pm
shaileshs wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:31 pm Thank you Ann and Chris. I can understand the other reasons (not a question of pride anymore, not a military operation anymore.. etc) but with trillions of $$ of spending at federal and state levels in US and with many private companies $$ also coming in, I'm surprised "money (or lack thereof)" is still considered biggest challenge. In Artemis 2-3 programs, I am not seeing anyone saying if we had $50B for this mission today, we'd have sent the human beings on moon tomorrow. I see lots of struggles in competency (skills/expertise) from shuttle lifting into orbit, separation, reaching orbit, landing on orbit without GPS.. etc etc.. And that's where I'm more surprised (and sad) that in 50 years, instead of those things becoming easier, somehow they seem to have gotten more complex (not just pricier) for us to achieve..
The price of access to space has come way down with private enterprise because it has caught on to a fundamental truth: it is more economical to let the occasional rocket explode than it is to push reliability out to some absurd number of sigmas. That's not a metric that applies well when we're talking manned spaceflight. It is massively more expensive to put humans on the Moon than it is robots.


24 American astronauts have so far paid the highest price. Well, none of them went to the Moon, or tried to, but all of them went into space, or tried to.

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Re: APOD: Good Morning Moon (2024 Jan 12)

Post by johnnydeep » Sat Jan 13, 2024 2:33 pm

Ann wrote: Sat Jan 13, 2024 4:47 am
Chris Peterson wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:40 pm
shaileshs wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 5:31 pm Thank you Ann and Chris. I can understand the other reasons (not a question of pride anymore, not a military operation anymore.. etc) but with trillions of $$ of spending at federal and state levels in US and with many private companies $$ also coming in, I'm surprised "money (or lack thereof)" is still considered biggest challenge. In Artemis 2-3 programs, I am not seeing anyone saying if we had $50B for this mission today, we'd have sent the human beings on moon tomorrow. I see lots of struggles in competency (skills/expertise) from shuttle lifting into orbit, separation, reaching orbit, landing on orbit without GPS.. etc etc.. And that's where I'm more surprised (and sad) that in 50 years, instead of those things becoming easier, somehow they seem to have gotten more complex (not just pricier) for us to achieve..
The price of access to space has come way down with private enterprise because it has caught on to a fundamental truth: it is more economical to let the occasional rocket explode than it is to push reliability out to some absurd number of sigmas. That's not a metric that applies well when we're talking manned spaceflight. It is massively more expensive to put humans on the Moon than it is robots.


24 American astronauts have so far paid the highest price. Well, none of them went to the Moon, or tried to, but all of them went into space, or tried to.

Ann
So, it's been 21 years since the Columbia disaster. With more people going to space (if not yet the moon), we might be due. 😟
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"To B̬̻̋̚o̞̮̚̚l̘̲̀᷾d̫͓᷅ͩḷ̯᷁ͮȳ͙᷊͠ Go......Beyond The F͇̤i̙̖e̤̟l̡͓d͈̹s̙͚ We Know."{ʲₒʰₙNYᵈₑᵉₚ}