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The Moon – Our Gateway to the Universe

Synopsis

The Moon has always been a focus of curiosity and yet, our neighbour in space still holds many mysteries. But we are on the verge of a new age of exploration. By the end of March, 2018, several privately financed teams will send unmanned vehicles to safely land and move around on Earth’s natural satellite. The goal is to find a cheap and efficient way to travel to the Moon on a regular basis, and in the long-term to build a permanent human base, not least for a future exploration of the Red Planet Mars.

China will send a lunar lander to bring back material from the Moon for the first time in more than 40 years. In 2018, NASA will also send its new interplanetary spaceship Orion into the Moon’s orbit, in preparation of the return of humans to our neighbour. Eventually, at some point in the 2020s, astronauts shall walk across the Moon’s surface again.

‘The Moon – Our Gateway to the Universe’ will explore the most recent and the most 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 better 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 these lightshows.

We still have to learn a lot about the Moon, because it might be our stepping stone to the planets; and one day maybe even our gateway to the stars. Find out what the future holds for our closest celestial neighbour in ‘The Moon – Our Gateway to the Universe’.