Why we should go back to the moon – and this time to build a home

Achieving a lunar outpost is important not as a means of escaping our home planet, but learning better ways to thrive on it

Space | Leader 14 September 2022

View of Moon limb with Earth rising on the horizon. Footprints as an evidence of people being there or great forgery. Collage. Elements of this image furnished by NASA.; Shutterstock ID 1454730908; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

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

Fifty years later, we have reached that decade of time. Many nations and private enterprises are plotting crewed missions to the moon. This time, it isn’t merely a race to get there. The intention is to build a lasting presence, as we explore in a special feature.

You might reasonably ask why, when we have enough problems …

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