Yeah, nobody really cares about the scientific stuff, but this leads me to the thinking that you have to present this science in a way that makes them care: Geologic surveys lead to one thing: Resource exploitation. Our Space Agencies really have to start with talking about moving into a space based economy. Present your people the new opportunities that come out of the science-stuff to explain them why "repeated" missions can be highly important.
Exactly why apollo was canned, had the Soviets had a successful landing program, or beat the states, then we would see missions until one side quit when the next country might land missions for another 2 years, when their program would be canned.
I.e. keep flying as long as the "Enemy" is flying
its the only way Apollo 20 would happen
The only reason they had 10 missions planned, was that it was thought that it would take more than one attempt at landing, to the point where Apollo 11-13 were stacked and "ready to go" by the time 11 flew, had 11 failed, 12 would attempt in September, and 13 in November
all would stick to the G-mission plan, which would have a one-day capable lm, and THEN would future missions occur, god knows what the flight list would be for 14 and after, and who the first man is if the "second chance" was upheld (Tom Paine promised both the 11 and 12 crews that they would fly the next mission if theirs failed, which would push Conrad-Bean-Gordon as the first landing crew, after they got bumped from 12 in favor of Armstrong's team, which failed, Twice
this would likely have a
Apollo 14 like apollo 12 with Lovells team
Apollo 15 like apollo 13 original mission with Shepards team
Apollo 16, First J-mission, Scotts team
Apollo 17 Second J-mission with Youngs team
Apollo 18 Third J mission Cernan's original team, wth Joe Engle
Apollo 19 Fourth J mission, Gordon's team, with Harrison Schmitt
the whole "Second chance" thing is ignored my most TLs who have a 11 failing to land
(Apollo 19 is iffy, it depends on when the cuts come to NASA, with no apollo 13, and a landing on 13, the next missions would be the "production landings (H and J missions)", with the 2 per year rule, 14 and 15 launches in 70, 16 and 17 in 71 and 18 and 19 in 72), following our real-life flight plan (after 11), adapted with the 3 attempts in 69
Oh i am with you all the way in this case: Most scientists confuse the rest of the world when they begin to explain things and this makes PR-work pretty difficult.
its the high-minded nature, people love to be fancy, and naming things in Latin is the most fanciest of them all,
I can imagine a scientist and laymen going like this
someone asked a scientist what regolith was, only to be confounded when the person explained it was "finely grained particulate matter that makes up the surface of the moon", which the guy questioned, what exactly that is, which the scientist exhales dramatically and says, Dust
It would be really nice to have at least some such photographs from hubble out of it´s final years. And regarding to JWST: I don´t see it like that from the start, but they really kept that thing going tooo long. This thing took more then 20 years to build and it costs nearly 10 times the amount that was planned in 1998. I was three when they authorized that thing damn it. Thinking about it like that makes it even crazier to me. Personally i think they should have axed it at the point when it became clear that the cost overruns will be in the 250% range at least. Ax this thing, look at which instruments are ready and which can be easily reused for another mission in the future. This is just one example for the culture that NASA was (mostly) forced into presenting by Washington for the last 20-30 years: Never stop a mandated program, despite every cost overruns. If Washington wants it, it will fly someday. This goes for JWST, this goes for SLS and the Artemis we are probably going to see, and this goes for Boeings Starliner. All of them are not really liked by some parts of the Agency, all of them are hopelessly over budget and behind shedule and all of them are kept going without reasonable redesigns at the cost of probably douzends of other missions that would give more good publicity and much more scientific outcome anyways. All those missions are either never comming to live, come with such delays that the Agency is forced to choose between: Launching outdated technology or dumping even more money and time into them to keep them up to date before they finally go into space, or they get authorized and funded, but go into hellish dev-cycle that finishes off with a cancellation. All those engine demonstrators we saw in the last 20 years who came to beeing, which were close to beeing ready for use, just to be finally dumped overboard are just some examples (F1B, J-2X, etc.)
F-1B was a pipe dream to make money, it never would have been cheap and was anything but an updated F-1 engine, it was a new engine designed to have the same lift, using the same basic dimensions. and it was only developed by Rocketdyne in hopes of aquiring the lucrative (at the time) Ares V contract, and later SLS, but Shuttle congress has the power to keep the srbs, so it was never persued, and the engine likely would be ridiculously expensive, no matter what the "its made from modern cheaper components" statments say
J-2X wasn't needed due to SLS using the far cheaper RL-10 engine cluster on its EUS (DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THAT DECISION TO NOT FLY WITH IT FIRST), the J-2X just wasnt economical, no commerical satilite companiny in their right mind would use it due to cost, and its primary vechilces, the Ares 1 and V were both canned, leaving the engine in limbo
and JWST already has a successor in the works, the Carl Sagan Observatory, which my god, is it huge, can't wait for the launch in 2050
im not defending JWST by any means, but the cost was mostly the storage of its mirrors, which required insanely super clean freezers to store, which has been eating up funding since their fabrication, and by the point where "holy shit, this costs an insane amount" was realized, it was so far in development that it would be wasteful to not fly (the mirrors couldn't be used on other missions due to the unique design of the telescope)
The National Reconnaissance Office gave NASA two spy sat mirrors in 2012 (along with the telescopes itself) which are going to be used on the next two space telescopes.
the funny part is, NASA had to pull the brand new tech on the chassis and replace it with their older stuff to be compatible, as unlike the NRO NASA doesn't update shit, the Perseverance Rovers computer is from the 90s
Yeah i heard about that, that´s just stupid. NASA gave a damn about PR in those times, it was better when the Shuttle came around, but it was far from "good" and the most recent status change of their PR-work didn´t came out of their own work but from the outside: Youtubers and streamers started to build up careers out of talking about spaceflight, Kerbal Space Program came into beeing, the private Sector showed how good reports about ongoing missions are to be made. Damn: NASA´s PR-Office was essential for the Youtuber "Tim Dodd" aka "Everyday Astronaut" to get into their facilities and into contact with a lot of space companys who work with and for NASA. Their PR-Office itself was at least capable enough to see: We don´t have a clue how to do it, but we found someone who seems to have found a way to "Bring down space to earth for everyday people" (Yes i am a Tim Dodd-fan from the start, even found him before NASA found out about his work)
Shuttle-era stuff was fine, but in the 60s, even Cameras on probes were frowned upon "its a waste as only the public will care, it doesn't give any data, so why bother"
I really think this would be a great time for another NASA-Trilogy, but on that´s thought out and scraps the bunch of crazy ideas Baxter used for his books (baically all of the later two books). Books that explain all the tech in a manner that can be understood without any knowledge about these things, but still in a way that could work. Basically: Do it like Andy Weir did in his books. There is a reason why the cinematic adaptation of "The Martian" became a Blockbuster: The book was not only "good" but just great. Exactly the thing i would like to see from Baxter too.
The Martian was INSANELY dumbed down to the simplest elements, easy for a reader to understand, same with the movie, where they explained and showed his situation, my favorite being the "launch him into space under a tarp" scene. its a miracle both are easy for a reader to understand
have a Voyage Remastered, over 2 books, the first being the pre-mission stuff, the second being the mission and return and aftermath
Titan done BETTER, use modern political stuff to get a mission to Titan done, breaking out Shuttle and Saturn V tech, have an anti-science movement, none of the youth stuff the original had, more of a return to Christian rules, like the book
Moonrise, the earth is being flooded, so the moon needs to be terraformed/colonized in less than 10-20 years before the earth is uninhabitable
honestly, Baxter is good, but his novels are always "a bit too far fetched" his flooded earth series is excellent, but the successor short stories were meh