Re: Why go to the moon?
If you can't get your manned mission to the moon and back, then how are you going to get a manned mission to mars and back?
I am hazy on my Russian space history when it comes to moonshots. Its one thing to send a number of unmanned systems somewhere and fail. Its a whole different story to send manned flights. Not to mention its much easier to track said missions these days so it makes it more difficult to get them under the radar.
This does make me wonder if we are going to see the race to the moon 2.0, as china has plans to head there. The united states has plans to go back. SpaceX is working capable hardware that could certainly make it their and back as a trial run for a mars shot (which we know they a interest in). I certainly wouldn't be against it, we made some huge tech advancements around the last major space race, that benefited all sorts of different industries, economies, and disciplines.