That page was last updated in December of 2007, so add another four years.
How many people in this forum can truthfully say this sentence: "Man has not walked on the moon in my lifetime."
Say it again. Say it again. Say it again until righteous rage makes you want to spit on all of the bureaucrats, activists, and other parasites who clipped humanity's wings.
Repeat after me: "Man has not walked on the moon in my lifetime."
"righteous rage" is a little much.
How much moon rock do you think we need? A dozen tons? A hundred tons? Wow, imagine what we could achieve with a hundred tons of moon rock. Why, the sky's the limit!
Which pressing need of humanity for moon rocks do you think we should tackle first?
Note that I'm not against us going to the moon. The fact is we've done it. So now if we're going to do it again, all I ask is for an actual reason to do so.
If it turned out that fire had no actual useful applications and was just horrifically dangerous, we would perhaps have experimented with it briefly and then forgot about it. We wouldn't still be habitually setting everything around us on fire, just because. It turned out that fire did have many useful practical applications though.
OK, so maybe I'm pushing this a bit...
But that's from Wikipedia, so you can add a few grains of salt to those figures.
One of the main reasons the moon missions were cut short is because the public lost interest, just as they did with the Space Shuttle. The inspiration argument only gets you so far, and we've been that far already.
Is any additional reason really needed?
Just checking though - you're not suggesting using any of my money, or other taxpayer's money to send them, right? Because if so, we're back to needing one of those good old fashioned actual reasons again.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-Man-Moon-Astronaut/dp/0312199... written by Eugene Cernan (the last man on the moon)
http://www.amazon.com/Flight-My-Life-Mission-Control/dp/0452... written by and about mission control
http://www.amazon.com/First-Man-Life-Neil-Armstrong/dp/B001O... about Armstrong but representative of many astronauts (and the only book Armstrong cooperated with)
http://www.amazon.com/Two-Sides-Moon-Story-Space/dp/03123086... about the US and Soviet perspectives written as a collaboration between an astronaut and cosmonaut
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393339912 This one is also a good read which roughly summarises our current knowledge about having people live for over a year in space (how long it would take to get to Mars). (Spoiler: not much)
It's a nice history of manned space flight from the controllers' perspective. Very interesting, especially from a general engineering point of view.
That being said, without coupling space exploration with proper funding of the America's public educational system, K through PhD, NASA should be a small fraction of the National Endowment for the Arts budget.
You can't commercialise something that was only affordable because two countries were trying to out-cold-war each other.
Now, I hope and believe, we can.
In not quite 70 years we went from being very earth bound, to walking on the moon. As such I'm far more disappointed by the extremely modest space flight progress of the last 43 years (particularly given the radical advancements of other helpful technologies).
I know there's some colour on the moon, but I don't think it's as much as this image suggests.
Here's a terrestrial example of the madness that happens to shadows (and geometry in general)with panoramas. It's partly less obvious on the moon since it lacks familiar references.
In this crop from a panorama, for example, the rover seems completely out of proportion, like a miniature: http://cl.ly/3M0v0S3R2M2N3h180Q1W
Compare the size of the footprint and the stones in the left side, to the stones near the rover. Either the moon has some weird rock distributions, the image is highly deformed, or this is a fake :) The fact that for multiple generations we haven't been up there again just contributes to the idea.
If we apply Occam's razor, the simplest explanation is that they went to the moon. Over 350,000 people were involved at a total cost of $140 billion of todays dollars. I've never heard anyone deny that we had the capability to land on the moon. The rockets, vehicles and astronauts were all real. The evidence is too monumental. For the moon landings to be a hoax, it would require everything that it takes to complete the mission and an extra group of people to do all the work of faking it.
- There's no atmosphere on the moon. Which means there's no distance haze. Far objects are just as sharp as near ones.
- There are no reference points to indicate scale. This is fairly common in terrestrial photos of barren landscapes, especially Alpine, Arctic, or glacial photos. In this image of a Pakistani landslide, note the apparently diminuitive size of the earth moving equipment and background figures: http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/files/2012/04/12_04-Siach...
(of course I believe that to be an artifact of image stitching and perspective corrections, what I meant is that it's easy to misinterpret these oddities)
Other factors of the moon: there's no weathering action, absent meteor impacts and very slow microparticle weathering, but this is taking place over hundreds of millions to billions of years. Where rocks of different sizes on earth will weather quickly (tens to millions of years depending on rain, freeze/thaw, wind, organic (lichen, bacteria) actions, etc.), this doesn't happen on the moon.
Upshot: near small rocks look very much like far large rocks.
And again, in alpine or desert landscapes without notable organic features (plants, animals) or human structures (roads, buildings), it can be very, very difficult to estimate range.
So there is light from the sun, camera and even earth maybe.