Why haven't we went back to the moon?
No bucks, no Buck Rogers.
Nixon shut down Apollo as quickly as he could get by with, and
renamed Cape Kennedy, "Cape Canaveral". Apollo served as an
advertisement for the Democrats, you see, as it was ordered by JFK.
Kennedy's goal was to "land a man on the moon and return him safely
to the earth." NASA had briefly considered cancelling all manned
lunar flights after the success of Apollo 11, but there was so much
hardware still left that it was decided to try 9 more landings.
After Apollo 13, the last 3 missions were scrubbed in order to use
that hardware for Skylab. That saved NASA a mere $1.5 million
($500,000 each). Each moon mission cost NASA about $500 million.
The most fundamental reason for ceasing man's exploration of the
moon is lack of public support, which waned considerably after
Apollo 11. By the time Apollo 13 flew, there was so little interest
in the moon landings that the 3 networks stopped carrying live
coverage of the journey to and from the moon. The explosion changed
all that. Another reason for ceasing the moon landings was the
ongoing Vietnam War, which was draining the US Treasury. After
Apollo 17, all of NASA's manned missions were earth orbital,
beginning with the Skylab and on to the Space Shuttle and
International Space Station, which took 20 years to build. NASA
simply does not have the funds or support (from the American public
or the President) to carry on 2 major programs at once. That's why
there was a 6 year gap between the last Apollo mission (ASTP in
1975) and the first Space Shuttle mission. That's also why there is
the current gap between the last Shuttle and the first Orion
mission. If enough people had wanted to go to the moon after
Apollo, NASA would have had the impetus to fund such a project.
It's not the only time tech has been abandoned.
The human race has only visited the Marianas Trench once, back
in the Sixties.
There was a time that if you were in London and said "I want to
be in New York in three hours and fifteen minutes, and money is no
object", you would receive a ticket on the Concorde instead of a
horselaugh. Air travel has gone backwards instead of forwards.
There is no more Concord or any replacement.
There are electronic musical instruments made back then that no
longer work and can't be fixed, because no one makes the parts. One
of them is like a bank of tape recorders with eight-second long
tapes, activated by pressing a key. You'll never find any company
making replacement tape cartridges for it.
There are only one or two companies on Earth that still make
vacuum tubes. They have the specs of any tube ever made, and can
make copies that are undoubtedly better than the originals. But
they are expensive, and if you want a really offbeat tube or
electronically matched tubes for, say, a theremin, I don't know if
you could get them.