In the four and a half decades since the Apollo 17 astronauts left the Moon, public and private activity in space has boomed. Scientific missions have ventured to and radioed back data from the farthest edges of our solar system. Orbiting telescopes have revealed images of stars and galaxies created soon after the Big Bang. More than 1,000 operational satellites—more than 800 of them American—orbit the Earth. Astronauts have occupied the International Space Station (ISS) continuously since the year 2000. Entrepreneurs have started to sell tickets for tourism journeys into orbit. And the global space economy is more than a third of the way to becoming a trillion-dollar endeavor. Yet in all that time, no human has set foot on the Moon, nor has there been any plan for such an expedition—until now.
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Volume 61, Issue 5, Steptember-October 2018