The Future of Lunar Exploration and the Challenges of Returning to the Moon

TLDR The Apollo program originally planned for 10 more missions to the moon, but after Apollo 17 in 1972, no one has returned. With lack of funding and Congress's lack of enthusiasm, it is uncertain if the 2024 deadline for a return to the moon will be met.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The last person to set foot on the Moon and the future of lunar exploration are discussed in this episode.
01:24 The Apollo program originally planned for 10 more missions to the moon after Apollo 11, with launches scheduled about four months apart until 1972.
02:54 Apollo 20 was cancelled in order to launch Skylab, and after the Apollo 13 mission, interest in the moon and further Apollo missions declined, resulting in the cancellation of Apollo 18 and 19, and the fast-tracking of the remaining three missions.
03:59 Apollo 15, 16, and 17 were the final Apollo missions, with Apollo 17 being the last mission to the moon.
05:05 On December 11, 1972, Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission set several records, including the longest time spent on the moon, the longest distance traveled on the lunar rover, and the most moon rock collected, before Cernan became the last person to walk on the moon.
06:21 Since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, no one has returned to the moon, and of the 12 men who walked on the moon, only four are still alive, raising the question of whether anyone else will walk on the moon before the last moonwalker passes away.
07:31 The main challenge facing the return to the moon is the lack of funding, with Congress not showing much enthusiasm for the project, and without more funding, it is unlikely that the 2024 deadline will be met.
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