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All about the Moon

Synopsis

2017 will be the start of a new space race – to the Moon. By the end of the year, five privately financed teams will send unmanned vehicles to land on Earth’s natural satellite. Google has offered a 30 million dollar prize for a successful mission. The goal is to find a cheap and efficient way to travel to the Moon on a regular basis to mine for raw material; and to build a base for the exploration of mars!

China will also send a lunar lander in 2017 to bring back material for the first time in 41 years; and in the following year, NASA will send a new interplanetary spaceship into the Moon’s orbit. In 2023, humans will again spring across its cratered surface!

‘All about the Moon’ will explore the most recent, spectacular, scientific breakthroughs that are shedding light on the Moon’s most enduring mysteries:

  • There is water on the Moon and we know where to find it.
  • The Moon has natural resources that can be used to build a permanent base on the Moon’s surface and, consequently, a space mission launch centre.
  • The Moon has a solid iron core surrounded by liquid iron and sulphur.
  • Its interior moves constantly, creating quakes, while the sun heats up the surface and induces vibrations.
  • There are active volcanoes on the Moon.
  • Our natural satellite creates magnetic fields that, in some places, could be used to shield a Moon station from solar winds.
  • We can now explain why human visitors saw dusk and dawn even though the Moon has no atmosphere.
  • Scientists know why moon dust hovers without any wind.
  • They even understand how the moon was created.

But some mysteries remain unsolved: like the flashes of red and blue light that appear on the Moon’s surface. More than 1,500 instances of this ‘Lunar Transient Phenomenon’ have been observed and still there is no plausible explanation for the lightshows.

And why does Moon dust taste and smell like gunpowder? We know this fact thanks to Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke, but the reason remains a mystery.

The Moon has always been a focus of curiosity, but now we are on the verge of a new age of exploration. Find out what the future holds for our closest celestial neighbour in ‘All about the Moon’.