Focus-Science and Technology - - News - Daniel Ben­nett, Ed­i­tor

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.

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