When President John F. Kennedy stated in 1960’s that the US will go to the moon in less than a decade, most people were extremely skeptical. The reason for this stemmed from the fact that USSR had shown more accomplishments in the space race after the launch of Sputnik, which was the world’s first satellite. Naturally, the skepticism was unfounded, since the US put all of its efforts in to the Moon program as billions of dollars were put in to it. The development of the Saturn rocket as well as the development of the Apollo lunar module took less than a decade, since the whole heart and soul of the American public was put into the Lunar program.
Even the various tragedies such as the loss of Astronauts in the Apollo fire tragedy didn’t deter the public. As a result, 1969 was an important year in the human history as mankind stepped into Lunar soil for the first time. Sadly, the program was discontinued and since the 1970’s, no man has even stepped into the Lunar soil ever again.
However, when people ask whether mankind has the capability to go to the Moon again, unfortunately the answer is an absolute no. Even though mankind has much more advanced space technology as compared to 1960’s; the current technology is not geared toward moon flight. In fact, even the US has lost the capability of the Saturn rockets due to the fact that production facilities have been dismantled. In time, even the know-how has become obsolete, as people who have worked in the Saturn program have retired or died. Hence, even if the US wanted to go to the moon today, a manned flight would be impossible for at least another decade.
You might ask the situation of the other nations which also possess space technology. Especially, Russia has made some advancements of her own, but the Russian space program is only a fraction of what it once was. Of course, there is also some work by the Chinese as well as by the Indians and even the Europeans are trying to develop new space programs.
Unfortunately, the various economic troubles which are plaguing Europe has caused ESA to spend less money than before, so many space programs in Europe has halted. However, both in China as well as in India, there are several ambitious programs present, which may cause any one of these nations to send another man to the moon in the next decade. Naturally, only time will tell; but nothing will change the fact that mankind’s future is in the stars.