Back to the Moon for Good

2015, Technology  -   32 Comments
Ratings: 7.32/10 from 104 users.

Back to the Moon for Good reviews the overall timeline of moon exploration beginning in 1959 and carrying us through to present day. Tim Allen narrates this informative short documentary, comprised primarily of illustrative motion graphics that aid the viewer in imagining the moonscapes and missions being described.

In the 1950s the United States found itself in competition with the Soviet Union to be at the forefront of space exploration; however, when the Apollo 17 mission returned to Earth in December of 1972 it saw the conclusion of the Apollo exploration program, essentially ending the space race and marking the last manned moon visit to date. Where we once obtained information directly from the lunar surface, we now use unmanned data collection tools that work from within the moon's orbit. It is through these technologies we have discovered the presence of water on the moon, as well as other mineral resources such as iron, aluminum, gold and platinum.

In 2007 Google announced the launch of their Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million incentive to stimulate a new generation of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs into investigating the moon's resource potential. No governments are allowed in the competition and all teams must be 90% privately held. In order to keep costs down, many participants are involved on a voluntary basis. Unlike the "two player" American/Russian conflict of decades past, 30 teams initially entered Google's modern day space race.

In a break from the animated footage, representatives from different teams share some of the key ideas behind their proposed designs, explaining their techniques for entering the moon's orbit and relaying information back to Earth. Although surface rovers are a common design, there are some exceptions - Penn State's team has proposed an all-inclusive spacecraft that would instead fly to the moon, hover over the surface to collect data, and then return to Earth.

Back to the Moon for Good expresses a confidence that these advances in lunar technology will result in a resurgence of manned lunar exploration for the first time in over forty years, both to mine resources and potentially drive us towards further journeys into space.

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32 Comments / User Reviews

  1. rpsabq

    If anyone can get us to the moon for real, Google can and I hope they do! This doc is only interesting if you've already graduated to the fact that we've never been to the moon, that it was a "positive" hoax, the reasons why, the evidence, etc. And to me Google definitely makes that assumption in this film, thought certainly never vocalized. Otherwise, we're supposed to be impressed with a DRONE making a trip that humans already made decades ago?? That's like getting all excited about watching a drone fly to Europe 45 years after Amelia Airhart already flew there herself. A more accurate title for this film (and don't you know it was in the top five possible titles) is Back to the Moon but for Real.

  2. flybow

    NASA are now saying they have to find a way to get through the van allen belts. No one went to the moon.

  3. Duane M. Navarre

    NASA had a balloon lift 10 tons to 171,000 feet, at that height make a platform of interlinked balloons. Then build a magnetic coil mass driver to toss a capsule to a high initial speed from that altitude of 171,000 feet. At that altitude there is nearly zero atmospheric resistance, and its colder so that super conductors work better.
    Then use an engine similar to the X-37, but smaller for the rest of the trip.

  4. Antihero

    The reason that space went privatized and the reason people havent gone to the moon fuel.
    $$$$$ and Fuel.

  5. Antihero

    bluetortilla, im sorry, i just need to point out that you have you facts wrong about the "cynical and degrading" conspiracies about the apollo mission.
    The arguement is not that they were not capable of going to the moon and faked it instead...its not that simple. It was the cold war, and the race to space was between russia and usa. It is said to have been a launch for pro-american propaganda along with the hoaxed videos of the landing and the "first steps"..
    Its not that they couldn't do it, its that they didn't do it because they wanted to (typical) "beat the russians," a patriotic win. And after they released the fake video and everyone including the russians bought it, well why continue dumping money into the apollo project when they could covertly dump that money into the war effort now..
    and there is pretty believable information to do with how the footage doesn't add up... i dont know though, im on the fence. i want to believe they went to the moon.

    i myself wish we would dump more money into exploration of our ocean...but i think humans are scared of the ocean....why else would anyone consider living on the moon or mars?

  6. David Harding

    So, to get a camera to two locations upon the moon. Well i was thinking....

  7. edgedweller

    cool graphics, fluff, propaganda & pipe dreams. Why do a 400,000 mile round trip when they have a direct wormhole to the moon in area 51?

  8. Anan

    Great competition, I'd compete if I had the team!

  9. bluetortilla

    Yes, they did. Of all the so-called 'conspiracy theories,' the idea that the moon landing was staged is the most cynical and degrading of them all.
    Look, if we as a species can make satellites and space stations and land robots on Mars, then obviously we can go to the moon. If we can hand deliver missiles from the sky that can turn corners in order to hit their target, if we can demonstrate such a detached method to our madness- we can also go to the moon. I'd say have a shred of faith on that one. The human race is not composed totally of idiots...I'd say the fact that we never went back really is more telling of our motives behind our achievement.
    The moon is our next frontier and one would triple hope that we set up camp there for reasons beyond the usual pathetic plunder and profit model we've been using for the past 6000 years. Unfortunately, this documentary presents journeying to the moon in a way that leaves very little optimism for thinking in that light.

    1. edgedweller

      'Look, if we as a species can make satellites and space stations and land robots on Mars, then obviously we can go to the moon' - that's quite the leap youve made there..

    2. bluetortilla

      What leap might that be? Do people not orbit the earth and live in space stations? Have you flown in a jet recently? Why would we have not gone to the moon and back? Not because 'it's hard,' because actually it's not that hard. The same physics apply here on earth, in orbital space, on the moon, and on Mars.

    3. edgedweller

      the leap of manned/ you understand the difference? Manned missions is what we havent done since 1972, its what no one has done except ofcourse....for nasa. Let me get this straight: you're equating jet travel with 'mans greatest feat' - the pinnacle of human endeavor, traversing 400,00 miles to our closest celestial neighbor and back? You really did buy it was 'that easy'....but if it was that easy (and we did it 6x with 100% safety record...) why havent we been back in 43 years, with no return in sight? Dont you think if it wasnt hard, we would be going there like you go to the shops everyday? Humans have not been past 300 miles above the earths surface since, infact - ever....except for the statistical anomaly that is the Apollo missions.

    4. bluetortilla

      I have no idea of why you want to argue with me. I'm very much anti-weapon pro-space. There's no reason to be hostile about it if we're both in agreement with the principles.
      I think that 100 years ago the idea of any kind of commercial flight was anticipated but still a long way off in people's imaginations but despite that in a very short time indeed humans have been for decades now whizzing around the globe in pressurized cabins that, seemingly against the odds, have proven to be extremely safe. The challenges of space are far greater to be sure, but the principles of propulsion and pressurization of manned space flight are not birds of a different feather. Why do you imagine unmanned space flight to be so much easier than manned space flight? There are all sorts of things that can go wrong in unmanned space flight.
      In any case we haven't traveled in space because we have not budgeted for it. I suppose if we could extend our earthly wars into space and kill each other there too you would see a real space race. But now time is running out and the only thing we seem to be concerned with is bombing each other and raping our planet.

    5. edgedweller

      Oh I thought we were just discussing the plausibility of the moon missions, apologies if I came across as hostile.

      apples and oranges, 'whizzing around the globe in pressurized cabins' has little to do with interplanetary travel & deep space flight, landing in environments with 0 testing - let alone surviving radiation we're exempted from in whizzing within our atmosphere...a tin can does not cut it. Space is VERY much a new ball game, a different specification all together, if not why hasnt Virgin Galactic just use an Airbus A380 for something that has been failed repeately over the last 11 years?

      'Why do you imagine unmanned space flight to be so much easier than manned space flight?' - let me answer by taking a page out of your reasoning: we have not done it at face value in decades - if it were possible, why wouldn't we (as in humans) be whizzing in and out of deep space already? Humans have only _ever_ traveled in deep space in the time of the Nixon administration - fact. That should raise an eyebrow or two.

    6. bluetortilla

      Very salient points, certainly, but skepticism did not get us to the moon, nor will it get us into space. Clearly we could if we wanted to but we've chosen not to allocate our resources to it. I think the answer lies in the budgets, not in the difficulty.
      Comparing the military budget of the planet to the space budget is the eyebrow raiser for me.

    7. edgedweller

      we already did it in the sixties - what happened to the billions of dollars spent on the Saturn & infrastructure (with 100% safety record) that went to waste? - only to start from scratch again & spend (and waste) another gazillion tax payer dollars more on shuttle?

      You think military is separate from NASA? Military=Government=NASA - look up operation paperclip

    8. bluetortilla

      You're just a cynic. And you sound bitter. You're preaching to the choir if you want to talk about corruption.

      I believe in dreams.

    9. edgedweller

      no - I just dont let the media tell me what is what isnt. You can dream all you want - history and human nature says the moon landings were a hoax, there was too much to gain from faking it. - Nazi's were imported to run the space program (Wehrner Von Braun; Operation Paperclip) - masters of propaganda, manipulation, military deceit. Also experts at human testing so those that werent sent to work at nasa, worked on the CK Ultra mind control program (the irony...).

      And if I am wrong and we actually did land on the moon, then what we were shown on TV is definitely not actual footage as what Congress, the press and the American taxpayers get to see of NASA’s ultimate activities - including untouched images and data regarding what’s really on the Moon, on Mars or anywhere else across the solar system - is totally dependent on whether the President of the United States (and/or his legal surrogates in the Department of Defense and the “intelligence community”) has already secretly classified that data. Its says so in the NASA charter, I can point you to this charter if you wish to look into things for yourself.

      I also dream of inter planetary travel, warp drives and wormholes, thats probably why Im not convinced by the 1960's stories & relics.

  10. Msdcs

    Did they ever go there in the first place?

  11. Jack

    bluetortilla: High 5 bro. No more weapons. I've always thought that there's a way to convince arms manufacturers to put their resources into building space equipment instead. Then we might not see kids getting their heads blown off by some monkey with a gun.

  12. zombies

    science.sazes.equal weight to be replaced..perhaps nuke waste...!

  13. AprilOneal

    The only way the moon can solve our problems here on earth is to send everyone who thinks this is a great idea "to the moon for good".

  14. Startek

    FollowTheFacts, I agree with you. Nice job Google. The Chabot Space & Science Center (Observatory) in the Oakland Hills, CA has a display on this.

  15. bluetortilla

    Turning space exploration into a sports competition? Humans are incorrigibly ridiculous.

  16. bluetortilla

    Could we find a more economical way to travel to the moon? Sure! Stop building weapons.

  17. Sacco Svd

    damn, what a bunch of propaganda

  18. Onesimo Teodulo Gorrochotegui

    Space greed... just what the moon needs. unanimus human competition? Like if that worked fine on earth. Private mining for aluminum or gold will leave no room for science, as it doesn't here on earth. Interesting project, bad reasons.

    1. Wintermute

      human nature will never change, it reflects the exact behavior of single celled organisms in a petri dish. Consume, divide, multiply, die. Of which we fundamentally evolved from.

      Accept it

    2. Onesimo Teodulo Gorrochotegui

      Human nature may not, but we are a specie that has developed something called conscious and that my friend, can change any nature. Reasons to explore are many, but the least we need is to affect moon-earth balance. You know, the moon doesn't just revolves around the earth, they dance in perfect balance and this is due to their mass. We still don't kno the consequences of changing that, and the earth without the moon is not capable to sustain any form of life. No, stupidity and greed is something I don just accept. I may not be able to change it, but only dead fish go down the stream.

  19. Todd Morrow

    Complete nerdgasm, I almost got choked up. Way to go humans lol!

  20. MTHC

    Nice commercial, Google...

  21. FollowTheFacts

    ...I gave it nine....I was going to give it nine based on the first few opening minutes alone.... financing difficulties with the production of this one though, I'm sure... : ) – superb work every respect...