NASA astronauts first visited the Moon in the 1960s during the American space agency’s Apollo program, but fast-forward to modern times, and it almost seems like we’ve left Earth’s only natural satellite in the dust. That is… until recently.
While the last several years have witnessed a growing interest in visiting the Martian surface, 2019 seems to be the year of the Moon. As it would seem, NASA is interested in putting humankind back on the lunar surface, perhaps permanently, in the form of a lunar base that would be used for scientific research purposes much like the International Space Station.
The United States isn’t the only nation eyeballing the Moon as a scientific hotspot; so too are a plethora of others around the globe, including China and Israel to name a few. China recently became the first nation to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s Dark Side, while Israel only just recently launched a mission that would aspire to land on the lunar surface.
But with the Moon gaining traction in the scientific community, what exactly is it that we expect to find there? For one, it’s an excellent place for humankind to learn how to perfect deep space exploration before traveling several months away to the red planet of Mars, but in addition to that, there’s still so much we don’t understand about the Moon that scientific exploration could shed some light on.
It should be interesting to see how science might probe the Moon in the coming years, primarily as interest in exploring the Earth-orbiting space rock increases.