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Shoot For the Moon

ASTRONAUT Gene Cernan was the last person to steer on the moon, in 1972. “Apollo came before its time,” he said. “President Kennedy reached far into the 21st century, grabbed a decade of your time and slipped it neatly into the 1960s and 1970s.” 

Fifty years later, we've got reached that decade of your time. Many nations and personal enterprises are plotting crewed missions to the moon. This time, it isn’t merely a race to induce there. The intention is to create a long-lasting presence, as we explore in an exceedingly special feature starting on page 38. 

You may reasonably ask why, once we have enough problems on Earth, are we spending billions to travel back to the moon. If you're Jeff Bezos, you would possibly answer that we want to alleviate the ecological pressure on Earth by moving heavy industry off it and onto the moon. it's a pleasant idea, but it's a long-term prospect and won’t, on its own, save our planet. 

If you're NASA, or China’s space organisations, you may think we want a presence on the moon for political reasons. “Control of space means control of the globe,” said former US president President of the United States, in shock, when the state put Sputnik into orbit. 

Elon Musk has said that we want an independent human settlement as insurance for our species if there's a catastrophe on Earth – but that doesn’t really wash once we are already facing catastrophe. 

But we should always return to the moon for science, to explore, to form knowledge and to be told the way to collaborate. The moon may be a container, a pristine record of how things were at the beginning of the scheme. From astronomy to studying the moon’s water ice, science are going to be more easily wiped out person. Once we are there, we'll learn to recycle efficiently and use renewable energy, things we must always have done years ago on Earth. Once we are there, we are going to cooperate – as lunar settlements will must be diverse and international. we've to confirm that now, we create a presence on the moon that's a beacon of hope seen by everyone watching back home.

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