A soon to be published book entitled “The April Conspiracy: How America was Fooled About How the Moon Race Ended” has an explosive revelation that answers a question that has haunted space enthusiasts ever since the end of the Apollo program.
Why has no one been back to the Moon since 1972?
It appears that the United States and the Soviet Union agreed that no one would go back to the Moon as part of a secret section of the SALT I Treaty which limited nuclear weapons. According to the book, written by a famous political historian, the Soviets insisted upon the clause as part of the price of a nuclear agreement. Since President Richard Nixon had already truncated the Apollo program, he had no problem with the clause.
Fast forward seventeen years. President George H. W. Bush, in a secret message to then Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, proposed that both nations withdraw from the secret clause of the treaty, which both sides were allowed to do after giving notice. Bush proposed that the two countries start a joint program for returning to the Moon. Gorbachev, who had economic and political problems of his own, balked. So President Bush unilaterally withdrew from the secret clause and, on July 20th, 1989, announced the Space Exploration Initiative.
Congress rebelled at the idea of a renewed space race and refused to fund the Space Exploration Initiative. In 1993, while cancelling SEI, President Bill Clinton secretly affirmed the secret language, basically closing off the Moon to any human exploration for the foreseeable future.
Fast forward to 2004. President George W. Bush again contacted Russia and announced the intention of withdrawing from the secret clause. He announced his own space exploration plan and this time got a warmer reception from the Congress. Several things had changed in the previous 15 years. Congress was controlled by Republicans. The Soviet Union had fallen and Russia was not seen as much of a threat for initiating a space race. China, on the other hand, which was not a party to the agreement, was considered a threat.
However, in 2010, President Barack Obama cancelled Bush’s space exploration program, called Constellation. Obama was offended that Bush had acted unilaterally and was not, in any case, very interested in grandiose space exploration plans.
However there was a difference between 2010 and 1993. Russia informed the Obama administration that it considered the language of the secret clause to be null and void and considered that Russia had a free hand where the Moon was concerned. Worse, China and India appear to have their own designs on the Moon.
Thus far, secret attempts by the Obama administration to craft a Moon Treaty, leaving Earth’s nearest neighbor off limits to human explorers, have not been met with any success. The revelations have rocked Washington and the aerospace world. Members of Congress of both parties are demanding an investigation. One Senator exclaimed, “How is it that we had to find out about this outrage until April, 2011? We have all been made fools of!”