A German team is going to the moon because people are stupid
On July 21, 1969, the entire planet stopped for one brief, shining moment and came together in awe and wonder as Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. It was a defining moment for our species, and people of all races, creeds, and colors stood as one in the realization that we are no longer confined to our planet. Anything is possible, and not even the sky is the limit.
Of course, there is a reason the phrase “this is why we can’t have nice things” exits, as there is a vocal contingent of people that believe the whole thing was faked. Because people are horrible and dumb.
It’s barely even worth mentioning that there is a lot of proof the moon landings happened. A lot. A whole lot. Enough that even answering the question gives some validity to it that it doesn’t deserve, but still, there are people that refuse to accept that the moon landings happened. Maybe it’s because people in power have lied to average citizens for so long that everything should be questioned, or possibly because it just seems so incredible that we could land on the moon in 1969 but can barely leave orbit today.
Or maybe people are just freaking stupid and can’t accept nice things.
Anyway, a German Lunar X-Prize winner is planning on sending two lunar probes to the site of the Apollo 17 landing to confirm once and for all that the moon landings weren’t faked.
Of course, there have been lunar probes that orbited the moon and saw evidence of the moon landings and that didn’t convince the skeptics. Plus, there’s nothing to stop people from just thinking that the upcoming missions aren’t themselves faked. But we can hope.
The group known as PT Scientists, is one of 16 teams currently planning on heading to the moon to compete for Google’s Lunar X-Prize. To be eligible for the $20 million prize, the groups are required to land on the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit HD images back to Earth. The groups will all also have to find their own way to Luna – the German team cut a deal with the company Spaceflight Industries, but it is still working on finding a rocket to take it beyond the Earth.
The winner will be the first team to land on the moon and meet all the requirements. Second place will receive $5 million, and then extra prizes will be handed out for exceeding the basic goals. Each project will have their own primary missions, but the German team’s goal of reaching the Apollo 17 site is the coolest.
Apollo 17 launched on December 7, 1972, carrying Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt. It was the last crewed Apollo mission, making it the last time humans walked on the lunar surface.
The lunar module, known as Challenger, landed on the moon on December 11. Cernan and Schmitt stayed until December 14 before lifting off and rejoining the America command module. The crew left the lunar module descent stage on the moon, along with a lunar rover.
The rover and the landing site are both considered heritage sites by NASA. The probes can’t get closer than 200 meters, but that’s close enough to send back plenty of images.
The contest is set to begin in 2017, so there should be some interesting news coming from the moon very soon.