It is more than 50 years since a spacecraft first landed on the Moon and millions of people worldwide tuned in to their television screens to see astronauts take their first steps on the lunar surface. Since then, many missions have taken humans into space, each time accumulating knowledge and pushing the limits of what science will help us achieve. The permanently manned International Space Station is due to return to Earth within the next decade and the next mission to establish a permanent research station near the Moon’s South Pole is underway. From here, there is a plan to map and travel into deep space. The vast costs associated with such a mission now require multiple partnerships between international space agencies, private companies and governments, bolstered by public support. Within the next decade, it is intended that humans will return to the Moon.
This illustrated book defines the progress of the mission, the political landscape that has determined and delayed it in equal measure, and looks at the development of the spacecraft and the science behind the endeavour.