I grew up a space fanatic and fully expected to visit the moon and work in the space industry. Unfortunately for me, they ended the Apollo program as i entered college, so that dream didn’t happen.
We did not lose the technology to go to the moon. That is nonsense. America merely lost interest in going to the moon. I bought and read the books that a company put together on each Apollo mission, that includes all the photographs, debriefing info, transcripts, etc., and you can see by the last few missions that people were losing interest rapidly. The first moon landing was mind blowing, but like any stimulus if it doesn’t change, the brain starts to make that normal (and boring). The moon has so little variety to it, with the complete absence of life, it is such a dull place that nobody will care much if we ever go back. There are more wonders to be discovered in the oceans than on the moon, so i reluctantly agree with the man in the streets who thinks that it would be a waste of money to send people there again. The Chinese are hell-bent on going there just so they can show they are as good as anyone technologically.
We are far better off exploring aquaculture, floating cities, and all the other futuristic things that really matter to the human race. After all the oceans cover the majority of the earth’s surface, and we have done a piss-poor job of managing the oceans. Our inability to be a good steward of the fish is resulting in population crashes for a variety of species. Let JPL send their unmanned probes to through the solar system; it is far cheaper, and very effective. The moon has little to offer us. It might make an exotic vacation resort, but considering how dangerous it is in space it might never be that popular. Instead, let’s fix up the planet to a much nicer state before we go off blowing wads of money pushing around people in aluminum boxes. There are no other habitable places in our solar system, and we are more than 1000 years away from another habitable place, so until Warp Drive, we better bite the bullet and fix up our blue pearl!