Project Apollo started as a program simply to land a man on the moon before the Russians. But, as time went on, the Apollo technology found more and more uses as we learned how to live and work in space. Apollo technology gave us earth orbiting space stations, two bases on the` lunar surface, a lunar orbiting space station, communications satellites a quarter of a million miles from either the earth or the moon, and a crewed mission to flyby the planet Venus.
What a legacy.
But what’s next? Now that we’ve proven we can live and work in space, what is our next challenge in space?
The next challenge is learning how to live in persistently and sustainably in space. How can we have a permanent presence in space?
That is the subject of season 2 of Belitopia, and this final episode of season 1 gives you a glimpse into the missions and technology that are next inline after Project Apollo, and the Apollo Applications Program is complete.
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Neil deGrasse Tyson - StarTalk ( https://www.startalkradio.net (https://www.startalkradio.net) )
Space Resource quote - StarTalk, Nov 27, 2016
IntroductionThis season of Belitopia has been all about project Apollo, and extensions and enhancements to the use of project Apollo technology in order to further human presence in space.
Using Apollo technology in Belitopia: We landed on the moon. We lived and worked in earth orbit. We lived and worked in lunar orbit. We lived and worked on the lunar surface. And we visited our nearest neighbor, the planet Venus.
All of these missions were possible extensions to the real world Apollo program, if we would have just committed the financial resources to make it happen. And in the world of Belitopia, we did commit those resources and these missions occurred.
So, this begs the question. Why didn’t we do these missions in real life? Well, you have to remember what was the primary driver for the Apollo moon mission in the first place. It was politics. We were afraid of the Soviet Union and what they could accomplish in space. Sputnik scared America, and our response was to build a space program to prove we were better at space exploration than the Soviet Union. It took many years...decades...before we caught up with the Soviet Union. They kept beating us to space firsts...
...first man in space
...first man in orbit
...first unmanned ship to the moon
...and many others.
We needed a victory.
We eventually found that victory in July of 1969 with the landing of the first man on the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin won the space race for us. It wasn’t because we, the United States, were better at space than the Soviet Union...we weren’t. Rather, it was because we finally were able to beat them at something. Beat them at one thing...landing a man on the moon.
But once we did that, for all practical purposes, the race was over. The political drive that motivated the need for the space program was gone. We gave up, and we moved on to other more pressing national priorities, such as the war in Vietnam.
The only reason there were Apollo missions beyond the Apollo 11 moon landing was because of the momentum involved in stopping it. The political pressure to stop investing came almost immediately, and eventually the program was swallowed up by the pressure and we stopped after Apollo 17. We had plans for more Apollo missions, and started building the space