Print 9 comment(s) - last by Kuroyama.. on Jan 18 at 12:23 AM

Japan's first mission to the moon, delayed more than 10 years, may be canceled by the Japanese space agency

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is scrapping its unmanned Lunar-A mission to the moon, after more than a decade of delays.  JAXA initially planned on launching its first mission to the moon in 1995, but the mission was delayed because scientists were unable to get the seismic probes implemented properly.  The scientists will finish developing the probes, but it is unknown how JAXA will use them.

The Lunar-A space probe was originally supposed to plant two seismic sensors on the moon's surface to assist scientists trying to learn more about the moon's core.  However, the mission's mother ship, built around 10 years ago, is in need of repairs and would simply cost too much to properly fix for launch, according to Satoko Kanazawa, JAXA spokeswoman.  

The Lunar-A has had a "postponed" classification since its last delay in 2004, after which a 2004 JAXA review was conducted.  A confirmation decision on the scrapped mission is expected sometime this month, with the probe being used on another mission as a viable option.

In August 2006, JAXA announced it would explore the possibility of a manned lunar station.  This station also appears to have hit the chopping blocks.

To date, only the United States, European Union and Russia have successfully landed probes on the Earth's moon.  China also has high hopes of its space program to head to the moon for data gathering purposes.

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Man on the Moon?
By Aeros on 1/17/2007 5:15:26 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously, what is with all the delays on going (back) to the Moon?

If the U.S. can supposed to have done this decades ago with almost base rocket tech, then what the hell is the hold up?

I'd like to be able to take my vacation there sometime in my life...

Oh well, GO CHINA!

RE: Man on the Moon?
By Samus on 1/17/2007 8:57:49 AM , Rating: 3
going to the moon cost unbelievable amount of money back in the 60's and 70's. we spent nearly 3% of our national budget on the space program in 1969, and today we spend less than 0.1%.

so its not a matter of going back and the challenges herein, its a matter of going back on the cheap, and as safely as possible.

Back to the moon?!
By Misty Dingos on 1/17/07, Rating: -1
RE: Back to the moon?!
By NuroMancer on 1/17/2007 10:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
It is all a scam?

Then explain to me why you can point a high powered telescope at the moon and see the tracks from the rovers?

Of course, I can just hope you were being sarcastic and leave it at that.

RE: Back to the moon?!
By spuddy59 on 1/17/2007 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
No way dude, it was totally a scam...that Fox TV special about the fake moon landing told me so. The arguments that the show provided were completely indisputable and no amount of counter evidence will convince me otherwise. /sarcasm

RE: Back to the moon?!
By Misty Dingos on 1/17/2007 2:26:06 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I was being very sarcastic. Although I am not sure anymore if FOX said that it was a fake. FOX must be obeyed. The portal of all that is good and holy!

You see sarcasm again.

But if anyone wants to go to the moon again, the need to engage the public interest and support MUST be there. And not even FOX can do that.

Trying to generate the societal will necessary for a moon program in the good old USA is a tough act. You can't even get people to agree on welfare. A program that has cost the country billions and returned few to no positives and many negatives. A country where NASA gets the same amount of money that they got in 1988. A country where the attention span of the average adult (not teenager or child) can be measured in tens of minutes. Where the majority of adults are scientifically illiterate.

Good luck with that moon mission. I will support it but I am not going to hold my breath either.

RE: Back to the moon?!
By Ringold on 1/17/2007 6:13:31 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. If I'm not mistaken, the majority of people polled, when provdied with NASA's budget numbers, think it'd be better spent else where. They don't seem aware that NASA's budget is a rounding error on the ass of months of social security checks, and seem oblivious to the numerous economic benefits Apollo provided (it's been studied intensely, and Apollo essentially more than paid for itself with corresponding economic growth provided from spin-off tech/concepts/whatever). Doesn't matter. They don't care. Even talk to college kids across the street (almost literally, technically across the river) from KSC and they're as apathetic as the rest of the country.

I'm a supporter myself, but I pin my hopes on private industry getting there for profit, not NASA for science.

RE: Back to the moon?!
By Kuroyama on 1/18/2007 12:19:02 AM , Rating: 2
The majority of people don't know bull about budget figures. Apparently large numbers of Americans believe that 20% of government spending goes as aid to poor countries (so about 6% of GDP), when in fact it's only 0.15% of GDP.

As for industry vs. NASA, it wouldn't hurt if NASA put up funds and allowed private industry to compete for them. The current "United Space Alliance" not only has a Big Brother sounding name, but as a coalition of Boeing and Lockheed it essentially takes all competition between companies out of the space program.

RE: Back to the moon?!
By Kuroyama on 1/18/2007 12:23:41 AM , Rating: 1
If Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly decided that it was essential to national security that the US not allow the Chinese get there first then I think FOX could sway opinion. After all, we don't want the commies building laser guns to zap us from space or something, do we? Hey, if you're not for us then you're against us!

For most issues I don't think it takes all that many rabid fans to get something into the budget. Even something as big as the space program could grow more if we had the will to make it into more than an employment program for constituents of powerful congressmen and women.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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