The Apollo program was not always popular


#1

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#2

Yeah, I remember a lot of people saying that it would be better to use the time, money and effort to improve conditions on Earth before going somewhere else. I’m still glad we went.


#3

It’s hard to compare the cost of the moon shots with the thing we didn’t spend money on, orbital nukes. Going to the moon wasn’t done for science or the love of exploration, it was a “stretch goal” beyond the relatively easy task of putting a nuclear weapon into low orbit.

This was such a terrifying prospect because anything in low orbit needs to spend fuel on stationkeeping. Once that fuel is used up, the whole package is going to come down. If either side were to launch orbital weapons, the temptation to use it or lose it could have been overwhelming. And the 15 minutes of warning we’d have gotten with ICBMs would shrink down to useless seconds.

Moon Hoax theorists miss the point of the moon shots because they assume the target audience was the american people. Who cares if a bunch of russians are fooled? But trying to trick the russians into believing we’d done something we really hadn’t would have been about as risky as putting orbital warheads into place anyway.

The Planetary Society and L-5 also missed to point of the moon shots, in assuming that it was just going to be the opening act of a long march to the stars. The only real reason the project was done, was to keep bombs out of the sky, everything else was diplomacy and window dressing and science side benefits. (If we’d really gone for the moon rocks, you’d think we’d be able to keep track of them today.)

I love Apollo/Gemini/Mercury and everything that went into it, but it’s hard to talk sensibly about why we didn’t spend the money here on this planet’s problems. It was about keeping nukes out of the sky, and that’s really all it was. Going to Mars wouldn’t have advanced that agenda one bit, though I s’pose the ISS could arguably count.


#4

It wasn’t his best album.


#5

Any money saved by not going to the moon would not have been used to cure cancer, help the poor or such but instead simply would have been used to build more weapons of war.


#6

In other news, the European Union is spending more money on the interest on public debt than on education.

It should be obvious that’s because the rich are too rich (Europe as a whole is hardly poor), but of course the rich will tell you it means more austerity is a good thing.

My point? 1% of GDP spent on something worthwhile isn’t to be bitched about. If you think the public purse is too empty, look at the fucking scumbag elite.


#7

Oh yeah, I remember people bitching when I was a kid about all of that money spent to bring back a handful of rocks from the moon. One truth about government is that you can’t do anything without someone complaining that their tax dollars were wasted.


#8

What you’re saying makes sense, but how do you know this? It sure isn’t the textbook answer.


#9

If we go back far enough perhaps we can find the prototypical example of this behaviour.
A cancerous amoeba, sitting by the edge of the pool of Primordial soup would have stated something like 'All this cellular-cooperation malarky will end in tears, wont somebody think of the viruses!"


#10

It’s certainly not a popular narrative, and I don’t really have any links to point you to. Everything that references this was published in the 60s, I read it on paper while researching the Mars Society.

I suppose people are as reluctant to talk about this as the Japanese are, to talk about Hiroshima and Nagasaki publicly. And how could anyone be certain that someone hasn’t snuck some bombs up there after all?

One clue can be found in the book version of 2001 a space odyssey. In the film, the ape throws the killer bone into the sky and its transformed into an anonymous satellite. But the book explains that this satellite is the kind of weapons station I’m talking about.

I suppose I might sound like some tin foil hat theorist, except I’m not actually accusing anyone of wrongdoing. I’m saying that our government military apparatus got it right in a big way and saved everyone from a much higher level of risk than what we actually had to endure.


#11

Not at all, I was just thinking it would make an interesting story that ought to be told. Why not write a book?


#12

Tom Lehrer wasn’t a fan.


#13

I’m sure that Big Cheese wasn’t very happy about suddenly having to compete against a virtually unlimited supply of cheese (even if it was green).


#14

Because writing a book is work, man! Not like plowing a field, granted, but if I can get my ya-yas out by venting on this board, that’s so much easier!


#15

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