The Real Reason We Don’t Yet Live Among the Stars

The man in the photo below is Gene Cernan, the last human to walk on the moon. Cernan left the moon in December of 1972 – more than forty years ago – and no one has gone back.

To understand how far we went forty years ago, on how little technology, consider this: Our modern smart phones have 200,000 times more power than the computers that took men to the moon.

Let me restate that: Space travel can be accomplished with forty-year-old technology.

space travel

Lamentations Are In Order

It is tragic beyond measure that human exploration has been neutered since 1972. Sure, we’ve sent out a few probes and placed a good telescope in orbit, but we have done nothing brave, nothing bold, nothing daring. Productive humans have been delegated to mute observance as their hard-earned surplus is syphoned off to capital cities, where it is sanctimoniously poured down a sewer of cultured dependencies and endless wars.

We remain locked onto this planet, not because we lack the ability to leave, but because so few of us are able to do anything about it.

What we have lost can be measured only in the billions of unactivated lives. Fifty years ago humanity was shocked to realize that they could go to the stars. After untold millennia of looking to the heavens, of wondering, dreaming and mourning the impossibility, we saw that we could go to the stars. And for ten years we took our first brave steps, successfully!

But after our first major step away from our crib, we were thrown back and surrounded with double-height rails. Since then, we have stagnated, and human culture has undergone a widespread rot. We watch science fictions about going to space, living in space and even fighting in space, but we have given up all hope of going ourselves… even though we did it just one generation ago.

Humanity – having recently discovered the ability to expand without limit – wanders aimlessly, with no challenging goal, no elevated purpose, and no path of escape. Space travel has leapfrogged us: it was done by our fathers; we imagine that it will be done by our sons; but we dare not think that it is possible to us.

They Were Men Like Us

We have more than enough ability to explore space right now. The men who did so a generation ago were not supermen, regardless of how the promotions made them appear.

I’ve met some of the people who did this forty years ago, including one of the men who walked on the moon. I found them to be reasonably decent and competent men (the astronaut struck me as especially capable), but I’ve known other men and women who were of equal or greater decency and competence.

The fault of our earth-bound lives lies not in our abilities. The spacemen were men like ourselves.

Now, please take a look at this photo:

space travel

You are observing a workman building a Mercury capsule. Look at the metal work: It is fine construction, and it was advanced for its day, but there are shops in every large city in America that could do the same job, faster, cheaper, with closer tolerances. Like every other technology, metal working has massively improved over the last forty years.

Now look at this Gemini launch. What in this picture is particularly hard to build?

space travel

We see concrete, metal frameworks and sprinklers. None of those things are remotely hard. Even the rocket is simple by modern standards.

In other words, this technology is simple to reproduce. None of it is beyond the grasp of journeyman craftsmen.

Leibniz, Newton and Aldrin

Originating is hard; second and third uses are not.

It took brilliant men like Leibniz and Newton to invent calculus, but now, millions of schoolchildren learn it every year.

It took a brilliant engineer like Buzz Aldrin to invent the technologies of space rendezvous, but there are millions of bright young men, right now, who are more than capable of using his discoveries.

Again, none of this is beyond us. And, by the way, we have lots of real geniuses in our time too… it’s just that they have been forced into systems that punish them for their brilliance, rather than rewarding them, or at least just leaving them alone.

Why Haven’t We Gone Back?

There are several ways to answer this question. Here are the answers that I think matter most:

#1: Space is Against the State’s Interest

Can you imagine what would happen to government in space? Once beyond Earth’s gravity well, the spacefarers would be gone forever: no more taxes, no more obedience, and heaps of scorn for the distant barbarians who demanded money and attempted violence to get it. Space would be the 17th century American wilderness on steroids. Politicians and tax gatherers would have no hope of keeping up.

The reason I’m so sure of this is simple mathematics.

Space is a territory that expends exponentially (as a cube of the distance) and endlessly. The numbers look like this:

  • At one million miles, government requires 4,188,000,000 billion cubic miles of dominance.
  • At two million miles it is 33,504,000 billion cubic miles of dominance.
  • At three million miles it is 113,076,000,000 billion cubic miles of dominance.
  • At four million miles it is 268,032,000,000 billion cubic miles of dominance.

And so on. The people who left could never again be contained and have their money removed by force. Those cows would never be milked again.

I should add that one million miles in space is almost trivial. At the speeds used forty years ago, that’s only 38.5 hours of travel.

17th century voyages across the Atlantic took weeks, and there was no lack of paying passengers. So, there is no hope of governments getting us back to space. To do so would be to shoot themselves in the chest, and they probably understand that.

#2: The Culture Has Gone Conformist

Consider what became of the past forty years: There has been no striving, no searching, no becoming. Instead, we’ve had:

  • 24/7 entertainment, which made billions of otherwise-productive hours worthless.
  • An obscene level of advertising that replaced authentic dreams with scientifically implanted manipulations.
  • A success ethic that addresses the animal aspects of human life while utterly ignoring its higher aspects.
  • Fame for the basest, weirdest and most lurid men and women; conformity for everyone else.
  • The glorification and unlimited empowerment of the institution.

As a result, we’ve had boring, washed-out decades, focused on anything but the awe-inspiring, the good, and the truly heroic. These years have been stripped of the greatest excitement, discovery and growth that have ever been possible to our species.

Our current decade features no goals save bodily comfort, and no aspirations save existence and status. Underlying it all is a palette of manufactured fears that can only be salved by buying the right products or electing the right politicians. We are living through the triumph of manipulation and the disappearance of vigorous individuals.

space travel

The 1950s are considered a time of mass conformity, but they look like radical experimentation compared to the fully-scripted lives of today’s ‘successful’ people.

The men who went into space knew that death was a possibility, but they valued more than just animal rewards; they wanted to excel, to touch the heavens, to expand, to become more. In the broader cultures of the West, that attitude has been suppressed and nearly lost.

It may be that the next generation will demand more out of life than animal gratifications. Such changes have occurred in the past. Would to God that they come again soon.

#3: Our Money Is Taken from Us

We are taxed on our income at national, state and even local levels. We are taxed on what we spend. We are taxed on Ponzi retirement programs. We are taxed on property we own, and on gasoline we buy, and hundreds of other things.

We have no money left over for things that matter.

The taxation systems of the West are designed to rob us of every dollar we get, right up to the point where we’d be tempted to rebel. This is a science.

If you are a productive person, working in any sort of normal job, roughly half of your earnings are taken from you every year, leaving you just barely able to hang on to an acceptable lifestyle. Understand this: You are already rich, but your money is stolen from you, generally before you ever hold it in your hands.

If we actually held our own money, reaching space again could be done, easily, from a small percentage of our surplus. No coercion would be required, only a bit of excitement.

space travelThe relics of the last moon mission

What has been lost to us?

What happens to humans themselves (and by that I mean internally) once we get to space and have a few moments to “consider the heavens”?

Preliminary evidences are that humans in space think more deeply, more expansively, and more spiritually… that their consciousness opens up and expands.

Consider just these passages from astronauts on the first and last moon missions. (And I have many others.)

As Neil and I first stood on the surface of the moon looking back at Earth – a bright blue marble suspended in the blackness of space – the experience moved us in ways that we could not have anticipated.
– Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11

Out there on another planet, I was looking back at the Earth, or I was looking back at the other stars in the universe – science and technology could no longer explain to me what I was feeling. Not just what I was seeing, it’s what I was feeling. And I kept thinking, above all religions, there has to be a creator.

It was to me like I was just sitting on a rocking chair on a Friday evening, looking back home, sitting on God’s front porch, looking back at the Earth; looking back home. It was really that simple, but it was an overpowering experience.

I’m sure that viewing the world from the moon only enriched me spiritually and also gave me a new vantage point on life… Anyone who walked on the moon had such a spiritual experience, similar to it or stronger.
– Gene Cernan, Apollo 17

space travel

When we lost the moon we lost our bearings; there was no distant star to guide us, no magnificent vision to pursue. Four decades on, we remain in a kind of stasis, mollified with streaming vanities and base satisfactions.

Perhaps we should have known that this would be the result. But when shall we return to the stars?

It isn’t rocket science anymore.

[Editor’s Note: This article is based on research from our flagship newsletter The Freeman’s Perspective Letter – Issue #30: “Forty Years Gone: A Lamentation.” If you liked it, consider taking a risk-free test drive. Not only will you gain immediate access to the rest of the issue, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the entire archive – more than 520 pages of research on topics of importance and inspiration to those looking for freedom in an unfree world. Plus valuable bonus reports and all new issues as well. Click here to learn more.]

Paul Rosenberg

Originally compiled for

29 thoughts on “The Real Reason We Don’t Yet Live Among the Stars”

  1. The representation that we have never been back to the moon is false. We, the citizens of the US who paid for these NASA missions have never been allowed to go to the moon, and the NASA missions may have stopped, but our military have at least one manned base on the moon, and a full fleet of ships and crews to man them. This was exposed by a British hacker that got into the NASA computers and downloaded the files that prove that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

    1. Exactly. They don’t even tell the truth about what’s going on in other countries, especially when the military is involved. They aren’t telling us a thing that isn’t vetted and targeted and as likely false on any subject about space.

    2. This is b.s. also. You will notice the British hacker has not and will not be extradited back to the states. All the money that was allegedly for space
      was diverted for the wars. This hoax will soon see the light of truth.

  2. The Apollo programs were programs of collective government paid for by force collection of taxes from the collective. Adventuresome? Inspiring? Yes, certainly. But I couldn’t have done it nor could any other individual have done it. At that time it took a government program which, in some respects, was like a war where support was to fund big government and (selected) big business.

    Adventuresome? Inspiring? Yes if you support big government.

    1. Well, at least it was money spent in a harmless cause, instead of blowing up foreign countries. I’d sooner see a space program than an imperial project, which is what we have going now.

      1. I would agree, except that I know humankind, and especially political humankind – it might be sold as a science project, but it would ultimately be an imperialist project.

  3. Well, this is all misguided and untrue. We did not land a man on the moon. We landed equipment and devices but not any man, from ANY nation. We still to this day have not found a way to get humans through the Van Allen radiation belts and OTHER space problems we have NOT solved and still come back alive! The race was on and the fix was in by both the US and Russia at that time after these impossible problems were discovered. Russia had the same capabilities as we did sooner than we did and far more payload capability than we did and lost many, many cosmonauts trying to overcome this. Do you REALLy believe we and Russia just up and stopped the space program? For these flimsy reasons claimed in this article?
    We claim the deed because we have had/have a ready film industry second to none! Russia did/does not to this day! The landings HAD to be faked to not only save face but to justify the HUGE expense and the IMAGE of US superiority in the world. This has been talked and written about by engineers who were there and is just now starting to come out, as you will soon see. Hang on, because this is one of the reasons for our financial and military/war problems that will soon come to an ugly end.

    1. For an expansive look at the evidence supporting the fact that man never landed on the moon google “Wag The Moondoogie” by Dave McGowan. Probably the most in depth and thorough analysis you will ever read.

      1. I went to Dave McGowan site at 9 o’clock this morning and I am still there.
        Again the American Sheeple have been made asses of.

    2. If you open you will see reflections on astronaurts visors, and in the backgrounds, of massive, ancient intelligently created, much degraded,maybe billions of years old, moon structrres, 40 km high. maybe that’s why not much has come out. I think they also did some studio shots in case they failed, and used some of the as they couldn’t show too much of what they found.

    3. Yeah, just looking at the picture of the moon buggy and noticing there are no tracks either in front or back is pretty bad. The other more damning evidence was the Apollo 11 press conference held when they purportedly came back. If there ever was a scene straight out of a sad old Irish wake then this could be its template. These guys had their eyes downcast and looked like someone had died. Having been in the military and also hung around pilots I know them to be back-slapping jocks who’d at the drop of a hat would cut jokes and have a cat that ate the canary smile from one ear to the other. Here? Not at all. These guys looked ashamed and embarrassed and that tells you everything you need to know. It’s the smoking gun.

    4. “The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a NASA robotic spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon on a low 50 km polar mapping orbit.[1] The LRO mission is a precursor to future manned missions to the Moon by NASA. To this end a detailed mapping program will identify safe landing sites, locate potential resources on the Moon, characterize the radiation environment, and demonstrate new technology.[2][3]

      The probe will make a 3-D map of the Moon’s surface and has provided some of the first images of Apollo equipment left on the Moon.[4][5] The first images from LRO were published on 2 July 2009, showing a region in the lunar highlands south of Mare Nubium(Sea of Clouds).[6]”

    5. Sorry, but space flight involves too many people, at too many locations, to maintain a fraud. By now the “we never went to the moon” crowd would have plenty of substantial evidence to back their claims…and they don’t. The moon flights happened substantially as reported. Live with it.

  4. I think the huge gap in ability given by todays technology leaves no doubt that we simply don’t know what they’re probably doing. I havevery serious doubts we see whatthe real level of space technology and travel is in the black side of the budget of that sort of thing. The military was always massively in front of civilian technology in everything. I just don’t believe they left it at that in 1972 the way it appears or is made to appear.

  5. You want to go to space, fine, you pay for it, but I have enough earthly bills to deal with and don’t want to pay for your fantasy.

    1. What’s the objection? The cost to get to LEO? that’s a myth, perpetuated by those in power who want to portray that it’s not easy. LEO can be achieved easily, using technology that’s been around for over 100 years. Just ask REDBULL who built their platform without government’s help, and with nothing but a weather balloon tethered to a capsule. It reached 22 miles, which isn’t quite the space border, but their balloon had to be vent it to keep it from climbing any higher, because of the height of the parachute jump. You would think if that was so successful and safe, (using no fuel whatsoever in the ascent) someone would take a hint and make a solid re-usable dirigible instead of remaining fixed on using a highly expensive, one-time-use barely controlled explosion which creates dangerous “falling space junk” and fills the skies with spent secondary stages. I dislike that no one can use common sense, when the entire first stage of the Saturn V was used to take a payload to an altitude of 42 miles, easily achieved by a heated helium lift prior to propellant use, thus reducing costs to a mere fraction of what they are now in a truly reusable vehicle.

      Has anyone ever thought of the DECENT PAYING PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS easy access to space would generate world-wide not to mention the advances in technology, philosophy, biology, chemistry and science? How very short-sighted.

      If you like your cheap smartphone or iPad, you had better start looking up, as the rare elements required to manufacture such things is rapidly being depleted, and the only other easy source with an unlimited supply, is space. The Chinese government knows this, (the main supplier and monopolizer of rare-earth metals) which is why THEIR space program is in full ramp-up and will surpass all our achievements in space, (including a base on the moon) in another 20 years time. I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem with remaining the only supplier of rare-earth metals in perpetuity, as there obviously is no profit in it, nor profit in all the abundant minerals, metals, water, and most importantly “control” of “access” of that for the next century or two.

  6. In a few hundred years time we will have the tech to go to ALL the stars. sets you straight. If this upsets you, as it didn’t come from nasa, seti, astronomers or Govts. and you want to scream fraud, consider that the Swiss contactee Meier published et info on our Solar System sometimes years ahead of nasa’s discoveries.

    1. I’ve never read a more ridiculous collection of comments on any site I’ve visited. You’re a misguided bunch of dills! You peanuts can’t serious?? Surely?? You fools probably also still believe the Earth is flat? In this day and age, and with the direct and irrefutable evidence of ALL Apollo sites imaged by LRO years ago you still hang on to these absurd conspiracy theories. WAKE UP!!! It wasn’t that hard a thing to do….and if you believe they didn’t go to the Moon on Apollo 11 then tell me WHY DID THEY FAKE IT 6 TIMES???

        1. Agreed, David. The world is now populated with such morons. Half don’t believe we ever went to the moon and half believe that there were ‘secret’ Apollo missions after 17 (check out the laughable Apollo 20 sites) and that the moon is littered with alien spacecraft, bases and other hardware. I love the websites that have the photos of a derelict alien ship that is 3.3 KM long! With the quality of human intellect declining to the levels we see today, we haven’t a lot of hope to ever get humanity to the stars. What a pity…

  7. After all the material I have perused on this subject there still is no decision on my part of did they or didn’t they. The reasons in this article are very strong. Too bad TPTB have wasted our time and money. People going without food, water, shelter and abortions I think mankind has missed the point.

  8. This article crystalizes what I have come to realize since the 70’s, when TPTB turned on the propaganda spigot full force and, we never went back. Thanks, Paul. There has been no greater crime against humanity. And WE let it happen! It is a great success for those who have created this world where: “We are living through the triumph of manipulation” and most don’t even realize it. Take for example the authors of some of the comments below…

  9. We’ve been lied to and fleeced for generations. It’s only now that the charade is bumping along and about to careen over the cliff. In which case we should keep our eyes and ears open for an impending world war seeing as its been used to effect in the past when our dear leaders felt it time to bump us further along the imperial road. Do you want your children to die for these bastards? Then you’d better prepare for what will happen should you stay or should you bail out for elsewhere.

  10. What to go to the moon? Build a rocket yourself, no one is stopping you. Don’t believe that everyones self limitations to reality holds true in your mind too.

  11. This screed starts from a correct premise that we were highly motivated, 40 years ago and far more willing to take chances. We went to the moon decades before the technology was ready, taking immense risks on with courage, skill and tons of luck. Today we timidly cling to low Earth orbit with humans, while developing fantastic robotic tools that are preparing the way for actual adult ventures in years to come.

    The author is correct that there is an element of timidity in our current era. But his list of reasons is hilariously wrong, top to bottom. Reason number one is a rising War on Science that has infected some areas of the very far left… and the entire right wing of the United States of America.

    Fore example: For 15 years the GOP has relentlessly savaged climate research, slashed and canceled earth and atmosphere sensing satellites, and even demanded that NASA remove Earth Sensing from its mission statement. They even tried to get it removed from the mission of NOAA! Almost no scientists wanted Bush’s go back to the moon silliness that was a way to sap the last juice from NASA while accomplishing nothing.

    Dig how Obama finally did what libertarians have demanded for decades… commercializing most LEO and GEO launch systems, resulting in a renaissance of new rocket companies including SPaceX. But does anyone on the right give him a scintilla’s credit? Nor the shifting of emphasis to asteroids… which has lured TWO groups of billionaires to start asteroid mining endeavors. Ask the SpaceX guys and the Asteroidal Resources guys who they voted for in 2012. Go ask them! I happen to know them. And yep.

    Fact is, the thing keeping us out of space is snarling GROUCHES! Of both the left and the right. They are all awful ambition destroyers. But scientists know who the worst ones are, Which is why only 5% of US scientists are still republicans. (It used to be 40% back in the days of conservative intellects like Buckley and Goldwater.)

    SO long as grouches like this are our “cheerleaders”, spewing blame instead of constructive suggestions, this problem will just fester.

    With cordial regards,

    David Brin

  12. The obverse of escaping to space is of course the disperse nature of resources and the relative scarcity of resources that we take for granted inside a gravity well – especially hydrogen, the basis of water which is essential to life. This is the Big Question which motivates the search for water inside the Moon – if it is found there, colonizing the Moon moves from “damn’ near impossible,” with constant logistical dependency on the Earth, to merely “extremely difficult.”

  13. If you’ve ever wanted to go to the moon,.. just drive out to the middle of Death Vally at night during the freezing cold and wrap a clear plastic bag over your head.
    Because that’s about what the moon is like, very cold, very dark, and lots and lots of dirt and rocks.
    Then you’ll say to yourself,.. “was it really worth the trip”?

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