Forty-five years. That’s how much time has passed since a human walked on the Moon. It actually sounds a little preposterous when you say it out loud. Just think how much the world has changed in that time. We now have a permanent habitat in space. We can see almost any location on the planet from our sofas. And most of us carry computers that are far more sophisticated than the guidance computers used to send astronauts to the Moon. Yet because of the cost, we’ve never gone back.
But it seems now there’s a new surge of interest in returning to the Moon. PayPal and Tesla founder Elon Musk is offering a lunar flyby for space tourists next year, while NASA has suggested it could send its Orion spacecraft to the Moon as a dry run for Mars. So what will we actually gain by revisiting our neighbour? We put this question to an astronaut, a businessman, a philosopher, a biologist and a geologist to find out (p38).
This month, Stargazing Livee returns! This time, Brian Cox and Dara O Briain will be ogling the jewels of the night sky live from Australia. But if you want to get a deeper understanding of how the cosmos works, then look no further. In this issue, Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw kick off a new four-part series in which they elegantly unravel the fundamental fabric of our Universe (p64). Don’t miss it.