Why don't we send unmanned probes to the moon to collect samples?
Why don't we send unmanned probes to the moon to collect samples?
Plus we already have several hundred pounds of samples from the Apollo missions.
The simple answer to this question is money. We certainly have the capability to do this (Soviet Luna missions did exactly this in the 70's), and several groups have proposed well thought-out missions with exactly this purpose. They just haven't been able to secure funding yet.
This brings us to the other aspect, public interest. The public seems to be much more interested and invested in exploration when humans are involved. So, some people think that the way to get the public to support funding of lunar (and planetary in general) exploration is by having manned missions.
I hope that answers your question in some way.
you cant expect to understand the moon without having several samples of different areas, not explored by earthlings
hi all this is james, i am an invader
Welcome to Cosmoquest, James, the invador. I and a few other will wecome details of your other world etc. but others may get a bit hostle in doubting your origin. Hostile but not dangerous. Neil
A million more moon samples would tell us a lot, but not a few more, in my opinion, as an unknown percentage of the samples came from space, in the last billion years and thus are likely to be atypical of the moon. Neil
At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)
All moderation in purple - The rules
In some ways it is harder to go to the Moon than Mars. Mars has an atmosphere you can use to slow down.
To put something on the Moon, you have to burn all the way down. It took a Proton launch vehicle to place the Lunokhod bearing Ye-8 to our closest companion.
Delta II (an LV with 1/5th proton's payload) had no problems with Spirit or Opportunity. Curiosity is larger, but was still able to use atmosphere on the way down.
Wiki shows proton as having a TLI of 3893kg. Lunokhod lander and rover weighed less than half that.
I don't know what other rockets they had in service at the time. I see Kosmos and R-7 both with insufficient payload.
That's true. But remember, even R-7 was considered too large by folks in the Soviet military. I think it was Asif Siddiqui's Challenge to Apollo where Korolev (sic) was called anti-state. Thankfully space advocates got their way. Even Proton was sold as a super ICBM but that isn't what Chelomei really wanted. He just never had Curtis LeMay or Rickover's nuclear navy to content with, in that Nikita saw a missile force as a means of force projection cheaper than America's conventional juggernaut it was left with after WWII--and all the entrenched folks. Von Braun may have more money than Soviet Chief designers to play with--but in terms of clout, the Russian Rocket men were actually higher up in influence
Oh well. If Kosmos and R-7 couldn't do it, then you **have** to say it took Proton. Yes it had extra lift--but that isn't a bad thing in that it gives you options. EELV only completed ALS in making sure there were rockets between Atlas IIAS and Titan IV--so there is a good selection for different size payloads.
Remember, what got us in trouble was this idea of overoptimization, with payload centric mindsets. That was the problem all along. You started with the payload and then harped on the LV people to accomadate it. Rather like building a house the roof-top down. The Soviets had no fear of size.
The result was that their vehicles were overpowered and underoptimized for the longest time.
In the US, vehicles were under-powered and over optimized.
That to me is the worse sin.
Last edited by publiusr; 2013-Jun-07 at 08:40 PM.
Under-powered is unquestionably bad, but there's no such
thing as "over-optimized".
About fifteen years ago I attended a seminar in which
G. Jeffrey Taylor made an excellent argument for remote
robotic exploration of the Moon controlled from manned
habitats on the Moon. The communication time lag is too
great for robotic control from Earth, and remote control
is much more efficient than programmed autonomous
operation. Remote control on the Moon avoids much of
the problem with dust getting into the spacesuits and
-- Jeff, in Minneapolis
"I find astronomy very interesting, but I wouldn't if I thought we
were just going to sit here and look." -- "Van Rijn"
"The other planets? Well, they just happen to be there, but the
point of rockets is to explore them!" -- Kai Yeves
That's a good compromise.
I could go into a political rant (and get myself banned), but I think the major reason, in the US, is that political interest in space exploration is quite severely limited among the elected legislators and no president since the mid-1960s has had sufficient interest to sustain more than the current, rather minimal, interest in space exploration.
Last edited by swampyankee; 2013-Jul-14 at 02:36 AM.
We need to establish the Moon Colony with mining for Helium 3 as one of its priorities. The North American Space Agency (NASA) couples with the African Space Society. The European Space Agency (ESA) including Russia (RSA) couples with the South American Latin Space Agency (SALSA). And then there's the Asian Space Agency (ASA). So it's a three-prong assault on the Moon a la Columbus' three ships.
When it does become worth it, then private industry will be beating down the door to establish their own colonies.
If ET got rock and soil samples on two small islands on the Equator of Earth; then sent unmanned probes and rovers for 60 years; then got 20 sample returns from mostly non-Equator locals, a few of which looked interesting such as the calcium sulfate deposit at White Sands National Monument, the boron deposits in California, the iron-nickel deposits in Eastern Canada, The South Pole and Manhattan Island: What are some possible new conclusions, the ET might come to as the result of the new batch of samples?
What fresh conclusions came from the samples obtained by the former Soviet Union?
How much helium 3 was in the samples returned from Earth's moon = possibly we failed to look for helium 3 in the samples? Neil
Last edited by neilzero; 2013-Jul-17 at 03:05 AM. Reason: Added The South Pole
We could spend several trillion dollars setting up lunar He3 mining and all it would do is sit in a warehouse.
We need to push the fusion researchers to actually get something done (I've been waiting since the '70s....)
Well one country is going to do just that. Next year Chang'e 5 will try and bring 1 kg of samples from the moon. If that is successful then they will try and bring samples from the far side of the moon with Chang'e 6.
The near side, true, but not terribly confined to the central near portion, and not at all confined to the equator or to particularly similar areas. Not saying that six sites is at all sufficient to explore the moon, but they were distributed quite a bit better than the above description states.
Well, most were mare-edge, because it gave a look at transition territory
On the other hand, lunar terrain doesn't seem as differentiated as earth's