Poll: Given Recent Failures, Is Going Back To The Moon Worth It?

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Science needs a goal–something that is “just out of reach.” It’s the age-old answer to people that question “the need”–“WHY? BECAUSE IT’S THERE!”

  2. I watched the first moon landing, always thought I’d like to stand on the moon and look at earth. Now? Maybe not so much! Decades of study have made me think “Glad somebody is going. Glad it’s not me!”

  3. What is amazing is that with all the technology today, they are having problems making this attempt successful. On the computing power of less that a Commodore 64, we were very successful with the Apollo missions. What excuses do the scientists and engineers have now? The way I see it, it’s there own lack of skills and abilities.

    • Goes to show, simply put, that we can’t design any system as capable as a person. Especially a device that require remote autonomous operation. Makes the successes of Genny and Percy all the more extraordinary.

  4. We have so many people in need here on earth. Why spend badly needed funds to fly to the moon? Here’s why : Get the best and brightest minds together to pursue a lofty goal, and the side benefits that happen more than make up for the cost. Many of the technological miracles that we take for granted today, are because of our “moon shot.” Add to that the unending possibilities of future exploration, and it’s a no brainer.

  5. Name one, just one, benefit to mankind for tax-funded space anything – that could not have been done better and at no taxpayer expense by the private sector. We have a national debt of $34T and the debt service will soon eat up every dollar the government sucks from our pockets. We do not have the money for space travel. Sell off the Cape and privatize everything.

  6. Much R&D that came about in the Space programs was forced to be done to make it all work, technology that may have otherwise been back-burnered for perhaps decades. We enjoy the trickle-down of those. One issue in the failed attempts – sometimes we are our own worse enemy. We tend to add technology to a greater degree when maybe a simpler way would work. Evident in most things in our modern life. To quote Mr Scott in an old StarTrek movie, “The more they overthink the plumbing the easier it is to stop up the drain!”