NASA shock: Apollo was an inefficient Moon landing but 'impressive' Elon Musk will fix it

’s Apollo 11 landed on the Moon 50 years ago on the night of July 20, 1969. The historic Moon landing was part of the Apollo programme, which brought together 400,000 scientists and engineers from around the globe. The Moon landing was hailed at the time the greatest achievement of the 20th century. Half-a-century later, however, some believe lessons can be drawn from Apollo on how to do it all over again but better. 

Lembit Öpik, Chairman of Parliament for the space nation Asgardia, spoke to Express.co.uk about why he thinks people like Elon Musk can improve upon NASA’s original achievement. 

According to the Asgardian politician, Apollo was a “quick dash to the Moon in the shortest possible time”. 

He said: “Elon Musk particularly, in my opinion, is being very impressive in changing that into a more practical proposition.” 

President John F Kennedy ordered NASA to put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade in 1961. 

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“That’s all that we have left. Now that’s just not efficient. 

“You have 6,500 tonnes of fuel and rocket and you send it up with a couple of tonnes of wreckage and a museum exhibit. These are not good economics.” 

Mr Musk and SpaceX, however, have been pioneering a different approach to spaceflight altogether. 

With the development of the reusable Falcon 9 booster rocket, the California-based company has proven rocket launches do not have to be a zero sum game. 

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SpaceX can launch satellites and spacecraft into space for the scientific gain, without suffering the loss of its rockets in the process. 

Mr Öpik said: “Elon Musk’s Big Falcon Rocket is the second most powerful rocket in history and that’s built on private enterprise, with support from NASA it has to be said. 

“But it seems to be an effective model and the reason is that it’s developing probably human-safe, more economical, re-launchable vehicles.” 

In September 2018, and back. 

The Moon-bound rocket launch was pencilled in for the year 2023. 

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