The NASA official admits that the flights to the Moon were rather a political mission as the USA wanted to gain revenge after the Soviet spaceman Gagarin was the first to enter the space. And the USA spent $150 billion to start the lunar program to demonstrate the power of the American science and engineering. It was a very expensive project that was easily abandoned as soon as financing was stopped.
The American Internet service Google is ready to pay $20 million to a private company that succeeds in landing a buggy on the Moon for transmitting photo and video information of one gigabyte in size right to the Earth surface. The sum is to be paid in case a buggy lands the Moon before 2012, and a company may get just $15 million if it launches such a buggy within the two next years after 2012.
At that, Google conditions that such a buggy must walk at least 40 centimeters along the Moon surface, transmit a series of pictures from the Moon including â€˜a self-portraitâ€™ against the lunar background, a panoramic picture of the planet and on-line video.
As it turned out, meteorites hit the lunar surface oftener than is usually believed which is really dangerous for automatic stations and manned spaceships. The Moon has no atmospheric protection, and even a small meteor can cause a tragedy if it hits a spaceship or a manned space station.
Today, the Russian project of the Moon expedition is even less developed than it was under the direction of Korolev.
The documentary In the Shadow of the Moon includes an interview given by five of the eight extant men who had ever entered space. They are now aged over seventy. None of them has ever officially stated that he saw something supernatural in space. At that, they are unanimous that the lunar race was part of the cold war when pure science was of second importance.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to land the Moon, is now living an anchorite life in Ohio where he teaches astronautics at the university.
NASA is going to conduct another mission to the Moon with a spaceship Orion resembling Apollo and stuffed with steroids. It is planned that four astronauts will fly round the Moon in 2018. If the project goes OK a landing module is to land the lunar surface in 2020.
Russiaâ€™s ambitions as concerning Moon exploration are rather modest. A Russian astronaut may land the planet only as a member of a Chinese-Russian expedition. Chinese researchers are working on this project and invite Russia to participate in it as well.