The last moon landing took place in 1972. The last mission was called Apollo 17. Even though additional missions were planned, these never took place.
But why did NASA stop at Apollo 17? And did they actually stop? NASA did, in fact, have three more missions planned after Apollo 17, Apollo 18, 19 and 20, but the missions never took place.
The Apollo 18 mission was planned and was meant to land on the Copernicus crater, but various landings sites were given and was changed to Schröter’s Valley according to “NASA OMSF, Manned Space Flight Weekly Report” dated July 28, 1969.
Apollo 19 which was also planned and discussed to touch down at the Hyginus Rille or Copernicus region and Apollo 20 was originally destined for the Tycho crater, the Surveyor VII site, but none of these missions took place, and many of us have wondered why? Why did NASA stop? Was it because of economic and political reasons as some suggest or was there something more to it?
Things went really well for Apollo 17 it was a mission that broke several off-world records, including the longest manned lunar landing flight, it was also the mission that had the longest total lunar surface EVA’s (Extravehicular Activities), and it was the mission that brought to Earth, the largest lunar sample and was also the mission with the longest time in lunar orbit.
Apollo 17 had three Moonwalks that lasted over twenty-two hours and covered according to reports, over thirty-five kilometers. It was a mission of great success, yet it marked the end of manned lunar exploration, at least to date. Official explanations as to why NASA discontinued Apollo were the lack of funds, even though the agency had planned a visit to Skylab in 1973 and 1974 and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975 but there was always a shortage of money and very little political support.
Technology has been developed since then to achieve great goals pushing our boundaries further. NASA’s Orion capsule is proof of such advancements, and it is a new hope for Space exploration and colonization. We have practically forgotten the moon, shooting for the Red planet instead which is by far more expensive than missions to the moon. Even though there are mixed feelings when it comes to manned missions to the moon and why we haven’t been up there for forty years, not all researchers agree on the matter. Even though some point towards extraterrestrial phenomena on the moon, some completely dismiss this idea.
The movie “Apollo 18” goes through several interesting things, taking an alien approach when it comes to the moon and why we haven’t been up there. But do not forget that even though the movie itself might be fascinating, it is still a movie with a script written for a particular purpose that some misunderstand as being filled with facts. NASA has been very clear when it comes to moon conspiracy theories; they have opposed all of them even though you can find a lot of “material” online that could suggest there is another story to it.