The Orion Essay
Currently, a ship has been built to carry humans to the moon. This spacecraft, called the Orion, is scheduled to debut in 2014 (Hunt, 2007). However, budgetary constraints will cause a delay of about four to six months. The Orion is now set to fly in 2015 (Hunt, 2007). NASA administrator Michael Griffin stated that Congress only approved the amount in NASA’s budget in 2006, which means that the approved budget is $545 million short of Bush’s request (Hunt, 2007).
NASA does not welcome this lack of funding and the concomitant delay in the project, as strategic and practical concerns such as the degradation of equipment and facilities, besiege the institution (Hunt, 2007). A Brief History of Explorations to the Moon A brief review of the development of moon exploration is in order, so that a clear perspective can be had as to the propriety and utility of Bush’s proposed space exploration. Chinese astronomers were perhaps the first people to notice the Moon.
For thousands of years, man has been captivated by the Moon, and man’s curiosity for it has been first assuaged by the invention of the telescope in 1609 (The History of Moon Exploration). The telescope, invented by Leppershey, made thorough observations possible despite the immense distance between the Earth and the Moon (The History of Moon Exploration). However, this invention was a double-edged sword: man developed an even more intense curiosity for the moon, leading man to dream of someday setting foot on the distant place (The History of Moon Exploration).
Because of the enormous distance of the Moon from the Earth, reaching it would only be possible through flight. Unfortunately, air transportation took quite a while to be fully developed. The groundbreaking invention of the Wright brothers can be considered the first step towards space travel, because they invented the aeroplane, which allowed man to fly (The History of Moon Exploration). In 1943, another milestone in space exploration occurred with the development of rocketry by Von Braun. Braun was responsible for the A 4, which was the first successful ballistic rocket (The History of Moon Exploration).
Despite the United States’ exposure to the latest technology at the time, such as the rocketry of Braun, it was Russia that made one of the most significant developments in space exploration. 1957 witnessed the launch of Sputnik I, which was the first artificial satellite in space (The History of Moon Exploration). Russia was also the first to take pictures of the Moon. In 1959, its Luna satellites were able to obtain pictures of the far side of the Moon (The History of Moon Exploration). In 1963, the United States followed in the affair of obtaining pictures in space.
Its Mariner Series satellites were able to acquire detailed pictures of Venus, and a year later, of Mars (The History of Moon Exploration). Saturn rockers were the next to be developed by the United States; these rockets were later used to power the Apollo Missions (The History of Moon Exploration). The country also ventured into designing moon landing vehicles, and was successful with Surveyor 6 and the Lunar Module, which proved that rocketry could bring man to the Moon (The History of Moon Exploration).
The United States is also responsible for the Command and Service Module, a vehicle designed for the trip back to Earth from the Moon (The History of Moon Exploration). Man’s First Walk on the Moon The United States has the credit for sending the first man to walk on the Moon. On 21 July 1969, the whole world watched in awe as clips of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon were aired in international television (BBC News). The video clips were taken by television cameras installed on the Eagle landing craft (BBC News). Picture 3. American Astronaut Neil Armstrong takes man’s first steps on the Moon.
Photo retrieved from http://news.bbc. co. uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/21/newsid_2635000/2635845. stm Armstrong first stepped on the moon’s surface, on the area known as the Sea of Tranquility (BBC News). He said that the Moon’s surface was “like powdered charcoal. ” He also reported that the Eagle landing craft left a crater on the Moon’s surface of about a foot deep (BBC News). Upon stepping on the Moon, Armstrong uttered his now famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” (BBC News). Picture 4. A picture of a footprint by one of the first astronauts to walk on the Moon, showing the powdery character of the surface.
Photo retrieved from http://www. orlandosentinel. com/news/custom/space/orl-asecspacetimeline31073105jul31,0,7958800. htmlstory? coll=orl-news-utility-space Together with fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Armstrong performed various exercises, collected soil samples and taking pictures before finally planting the flag of the United States of America on the Moon’s surface (BBC News). Several projects later allowed astronauts to follow suit, but the first landing on the moon remains imprinted on the minds of the world population as a huge milestone in human history.
Subject: Michael Griffin,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 May 2017