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Gordon Shumway

Question asked was. "What for, do we go to the Moon?"

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That was a question asked back in the 60's by many. Some people were well meaning by said question, others were just stupid!

Watching a PVR'ed episode of CNN's THE SIXTIES, The Space Race. And got me thinking about all I heard and read of the race to the Moon. Yes, politics and the Cold War was a spearhead for said race, but it was more than that. It was about humanity and our desire to achieve great things.

So an answer to the question of why go to the Moon?

TO PROVE THAT WE CAN!

None of us here will ever get that opportunity to achieve such great things of the space race including the culmination of landing on the Moon. But we each can take from such and live in our own way to say, "I/We do this/these things and in doing so and achieving such things is because I/we can!"

Too many people today want to stifle such personal and societal achievements. Saying "It's too dangerous." " It's too costly." " It's not worth our time." etc.

Bubble wrapping life and our world only kill's imagination, inquisitiveness, and adventure. Yes, we must balance such adventures to risks, but life is meant to be lived, as individuals and as collective in society.

So taking things to today. I hear oh say such as about automobiles. Some ask. "Why do we need 300-400-500-700 h.p. passenger cars?" " Why do we need 150-175-200mph passenger cars?" "Why do we need big passenger trucks that can safely tow 20,000-25,000-30,000lbs.?"

BECAUSE WE CAN! is the only answer that needs be given. Most drivers will never use such power, speed and towing ability. But to know man can engineer, manufacture at prices that many can afford and in general good safety such awesome cars/trucks is a testament to what we can strive for.

There are many more such points that can be made, but they are all for the same general reasons. BECAUSE WE CAN!

Human achievement must be guided by commonsense and fair balancing of risk/reward. But it's troubling to hear and read about many who live today, to question and stifle such.

So from going to the Moon 45 odd years ago, to landing and operating rovers on Mars, to building 500 passenger jet planes, to building Mach 2 passenger jets, to building 300mph in 1/4 mile drag race cars, to building 700 h.p. passenger cars and 30,000lbs towing ability trucks, to transplanting human organs, to develop ways to grow and raise more food etc. etc. etc. Those of narrow minds who try to stifle individual and societal achievements are people who are either ignorantly and/or arrogantly serving us poorly by such.

Curiosity and the desire to achieve is a big part of being human, be it individually and/or as a collective. May we never lose or have said spirit torn away from us. :cheers:

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Bravo! Why do we have websites devoted to modelling?

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Perhaps so that we can bring our plastic with us to the stars? I like to think there will be room for a 1/72 scale LEM on board the ship that makes that jump.

Harry

Lutz, FL

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"Because we can" seems like an awfully childish reason to do something. With reason comes the ability to think about the future, to ask if attempts should even be made. The resources of a person, a nation, or a planet are finite. The reason we don't do all those crazy things from the 60's is that we know more now. We could make a Mach 2 passenger jet. We don't because it's stupid. And yeah, we went to the moon because we could. People quickly saw it for what it was - a stunt - and grew tired of it and that's why we don't go any more.

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"Because we can" seems like an awfully childish reason to do something. With reason comes the ability to think about the future, to ask if attempts should even be made. The resources of a person, a nation, or a planet are finite. The reason we don't do all those crazy things from the 60's is that we know more now. We could make a Mach 2 passenger jet. We don't because it's stupid. And yeah, we went to the moon because we could. People quickly saw it for what it was - a stunt - and grew tired of it and that's why we don't go any more.

The results of the race to the moon were significant and not just a stunt. The advancement in technology, engineering and in human achievement are direct in a big part to the space race and to getting to the Moon.

As I said commonsense must guide human adventure be it individual and be it societal. But many people would cut off any adventure they fail to see and understand because of often misguided reasoning.

It is in our nature to look beyond. Beginning with, to first wonder what, then to ponder how and as an end result to attain.

"Because we can." is not childish, it's apart of the human spirit. Free people's live much by those words and ideals.

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Only way for our civilization to survive is through progression, social, technological, scientific and cultural. The day we stop progression our society will implode.

Within progression lies the sollutions to all our problems and never has a step back ever led to anything good.

That's why we have to keep progressing no matter how silly things we come up with.

Edited by Aigore

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It's not because we can its to see if we can. Always testing and striving for bigger better things. If you know you can do it is not as fun/rewarding as finding out if you can do it.

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I think the original reason was to prove to the Soviets that Americans had superior missile technology. One original idea was to explode a nuke on the moon as a way of firing a shot across the bow of the Soviets. JFK decided it was best not to take the arms race off-world and thought a more peaceful idea would be better. I admire his decision.

The space race advanced US missile technology very quickly and feed up the unlimited money to do so. Sputnik really shocked the US leadership.

But what happened was the population of Earth got behind the whole Moon program.....which I think was not expected. Neil Armstrong wasn't an Astronaut from the USA....he was the first human on the Moon.

And yes....it is always the human mind that constantly asks..."What if?" in a constant move forward.

I think there is a "what if?" gene in some humans and those humans probably survived better to pass that Gene on to more and more future humans. People lacking the "what if" gene probably didn't do as well. I suspect early humans had less of the "what if?" gene in their population and mostly just drifted through the centuries with less forward movement.

We are more than just a curious species.

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"Because we can" was not the reason for the moon landings. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the reals reasons:

During the 1960s, the prevailing rationale for space travel presented to children was that we were going to the Moon because humans are innate explorers—and that space was America's next frontier. When President Kennedy's addressed a joint session of Congress on 25 May 1961, in what many consider to be his second inaugural address, he waxed eloquently about the need for Americans to explore the Moon, including the famous lines:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.

This statement alone confused me (when I grew old enough to care about politics and be confused by it) because I knew that nearly every astronaut in the space program was drawn from the military, yet our voyage to the Moon was hardly ever mentioned in the same breath as the Soviet Union or the Cold War. Only later in Kennedy's speech do you hear him take a military posture, triggered by the successful launch of Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into Earth orbit, but this portion is hardly ever replayed:

If we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did Sputnik in 1957, the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take.

Had the political landscape been different, Americans (Congress in particular) would have been loath to part with the two-hundred billion dollars that accomplished the task. In spite of such rhetoric, the debates that followed on the floor of Congress certainly demonstrated that funding for Apollo was not a foregone conclusion.

This article on one of Dr. deGrasse Tyson's presentations of the subject further explains why "because we can" wasn't an effective motivator for the Apollo missions.

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Bravo! Why do we have websites devoted to modelling?

So we can avoid actually building models.

Regards,

Murph

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The future lies out there in space. Yes Earth's resources are finite. Space is infinite. The resources of our solar system would alleviate pollution and environmental damage. The solution is out there and so is mankind's future. If we are to survive as a species we need to leave this rock and explore colonize and grow.

TC

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"Because we can" was not the reason for the moon landings. Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the reals reasons:

This article on one of Dr. deGrasse Tyson's presentations of the subject further explains why "because we can" wasn't an effective motivator for the Apollo missions.

I did note the Cold War was a prime motivator for the race to the Moon. It was a peaceful way to wage war between the so called western ideology and the east block ideology. But underlying such is man's innate desire to explore, to test and push limits. The space race was only one and arguably the greatest of the 20th century. But as noted there are many other things we did and do as individuals and as societies that push limits to "see if we can" and by our essential liberties "because we can."

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