In an essay from a few years ago that is sure to rankle many a reader (but not you, Gentle Disinfonauts—you’re what the kids call ‘open-minded,’ of this I am sure) and stick in the craw of every Official Story™ adherent, conspiracy researcher Dave McGowan ponders why we haven’t returned to the Moon. (And of course, by that extension, the question of why hasn’t anyone else been to the Moon should irritate the linings of your mind like a bad rash.)
Grab your tin foil hat and let’s get lunar, folks:
Anyway, as I noted in the last Apollo post, “whenever NASA types talk about going ‘back’ to the Moon,” they invariably seem to “unintentionally raise questions about the legitimacy of the Apollo missions.” And sure enough, the boys over at Lockheed Martin (one of NASA’s longtime partners-in-crime) certainly didn’t let me down in that regard with this latest proposal.
Before proceeding, I should probably first clarify here that the proposed missions are not so ambitious as to involve actually landing on the Moon. No, these proposed missions involve merely flying to the Moon’s far side and then sort of hanging out in Lunar orbit for a couple of weeks. In other words, all of the most technologically demanding aspects of the alleged Apollo missions – like actually landing on the Moon, surviving on the Moon, lifting off from the Moon, and docking while in Lunar orbit – have been eliminated.
Even these far less ambitious missions, of course, won’t actually happen – but let’s play along while Space.com’s “Space Insider Columnist,” Leonard David, fills us in on what we have to look forward to (“Mission Proposed to Send Astronauts to the Moon’s Far Side,” November 23, 2010):
“While NASA has officially given up its plans to send humans back to the surface of the moon anytime soon, a contractor is proposing a mission to send a crew to a stationary spot in orbit over the far side of Earth’s neighbor. Lockheed Martin has begun pitching an L2-Farside Mission using its Orion spacecraft under development … The Earth-moon L2 Lagrange point is where the combined gravity of the Earth and the moon allows a spacecraft to hover over one spot and be synchronized with the moon in its orbit around the Earth. From a halo orbit around that L2 point, a crew would control robots on the lunar surface. Teleoperated science tasks include snagging rock specimens for return to Earth from the moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin – one of the largest, deepest, and oldest craters in the solar system – as well as deploy a radio telescope array on the farside.”
Everybody got all of that? Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? After all, the bar has been set substantially lower than it was in the glorious 1960s, when we easily mastered such things as landing men on the Moon, walking on the Moon, driving dune buggies on the Moon, and playing golf on the Moon. Nevertheless, there are some potential problems – just as there are, as is usually the case, some aspects of these proposed missions that directly contradict the entrenched, though slightly insane, belief that we sent men to the Moon back in the days when telephones were heavy enough to be used as lethal weapons.
Let’s begin with one of the stated benefits of these proposed missions, as listed in a Lockheed Martin ‘white paper’ and laid out by Daniel Bates of the UK’s Daily Mail (“Astronauts to be Sent to the Far Side of the Moon for First Time in 40 Years in Pre-Mars Mission,” November 25, 2010): “Both [NASA and Lockheed Martin] would also have the chance to address the problem of a higher re-entry speed which is accumulated on trips further away from the Earth.”
There they go again, pretending as though we’ve never done this before! Already we have heard from NASA types about how we haven’t yet solved the radiation problem, and how we haven’t yet developed spacesuit materials capable of withstanding the temperature extremes on the Moon, and how we haven’t yet solved the problem of how to deal with all that Lunar dust … and now we find that we apparently also haven’t yet worked out how to deal with the fact that spacecraft returning from the Moon would have to survive much higher re-entry speeds than spacecraft returning from low-Earth orbit! And I’m guessing that we might also have a problem with controlling the all-important reentry angle.
At this point, I really am beginning to wonder if there is any of that classic 1960s space technology that hasn’t been lost? Perhaps NASA needs to hire a crack team of archeologists to dig through their warehouses.
Another problem arises from the proposed duration and timeline of the missions. According to Space.com, “Each flight would prove out the Orion capsule’s life support systems for one-month duration missions.” Later in the same article, we find that on each mission, our fearless astronauts “would orbit the L2 point for about two weeks.” It would appear then that Lockheed and NASA are allowing a full two weeks to travel to and from the Moon – which would be all well and good were it not for the obvious fact that it is roughly twice the time that it took for the mighty Apollo craft to allegedly get to the Moon and back!
The 1960s was, as some will surely recall, the era of ‘muscle cars,’ so perhaps it was the era of ‘muscle spaceships’ as well. But since we have now apparently sacrificed raw power in favor of fuel economy, I guess today’s spaceships just don’t burn rubber like the spacecraft of the wild and wooly ‘60s – though there is, I suppose, an alternative explanation: the last forty years of space research has taught us that it would actually take twice as long to get to the Moon as was believed back when we faked the Apollo flights.
Continue reading HERE or jump to the beginning of this weird and twisty rabbit hole HERE, and if you’re feeling generous you can send Mr. McGowan a kind word or a generous donation to help with his grave battle against small-cell lung cancer.
Probably more deserving of the title Polymath than anyone from either the 20th or 21st centuries (or the 25th for that matter). Best known for his work fronting the Brutal Swedish Black Metal From Sweden Black Metal Band, Traumatic Insemination, and their chart destroying metal hit 'Transvaginal Mosh' not to mention the Alt-country crossover smash, 'Hellbound and Down'. Currently in the studio working on their 13th album, a rock opera based on the 1974 Sean Connery blockbuster 'Zardoz' tentatively titled ' Exterminate the Brutals (Penises everywhere)'. Author of the seminal work on Internet Bios and Resume Writing, 'Imaginary Triumphs of the Will'. First person to solve a LeMarchand's Cube in less than a minute. He is currently working on his PHA* in Medieval Metaphysics at Miskatonic University Online.
*Pretty Helly Awesome.