1 thought on “Apollo 11: Could we do it today?

  1. Could we do it today? Possibly but the odds seem heavily weighted against it.

    I agree with your points but I think there are many other factors in addition to lack of will and fear of risk. The overly bureaucratic mindset that killed NASA has since spread through (infected) the private sector as well.

    Beyond that, I disagree with your certainty that we have “far better technology”. We certainly have far MORE technology but I’m not convinced that most of it is any “better” than older solutions. I understand modern technologies fairly well and I find that almost everything built today is simply junk.

    Although part of this might be due to planned obsolesence, I don’t think that is a sufficient explanation for the widely generalized reduction in quality. The problem goes beyond materials or manufacturing techniques, most of us no longer have the mindset required for building things to last.

    Newer materials are lighter but older materials were often far more robust. (While this adds weight, it also adds shielding, increases potential for reuse, and is more repairable.) Also, the failure rate of newer technology is generally much higher. Older stuff was built to last. Only a couple of generations later, we are already unable to replicate the quality of many of the older manufacturing techniques.

    Finally, I figure that you, as a mechanical engineer, are likely to understand that the most important material of all is located between the ears. Well, humans today are simply at a lower level than humans of a couple of generations ago. Their shoes might be too big for our diminished generation to fill.

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