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Back to the Future on the Moon

21 Jun 2018, 20:27 UTC
Back to the Future on the Moon
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There have been no humans on the surface of the moon since the Apollo program ended in 1972. Now, in addition to NASA, space agencies in India, China, Russia, Japan and Europe and developing plans to land humans on the moon. (NASA/Robin Lee)
What does NASA’s drive to return to the moon have to do with worlds of exoplanets and astrobiology that are generally discussed here? The answer is actually quite a lot.
Not so much about the science, although current NASA plans would certainly make possible some very interesting science regarding humans living in deep space, as well as some ways to study the moon, Earth and our sun.
But it seems especially important now to look at what NASA and others have in mind regarding our moon because the current administration has made a top priority of returning landers and humans to there, prospecting for resources on the moon and ultimately setting up a human colony on the moon.
This has been laid out in executive directives and now is being translated into funding for NASA (and commercial) missions and projects.
There are at least two significant NASA projects specific to the moon initiative now planned, developed and ...

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