Summary of The Value of the Moon

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Lunar scientist Paul Spudis provides a firsthand guide through the history of the US space program as part of his argument that the US should colonize the moon as the next step in its space exploration. After Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon, the next steps were the space shuttle program, robotic explorations and new satellites – including NASA’s recent success at placing a probe into orbit around Jupiter. Many observers ask, if you care about space, what’s next? Spudis makes a clear, methodical case for returning to the moon as the best next step for exploring near-Earth space and the other planets. He weakens his case by repeating his main points, though that springs from his passion for the topic. getAbstract recommends his argument to investors, policy makers, entrepreneurs, inventors, students and anyone curious about the value of space.

About the Author

Lunar scientist Paul D. Spudis has published more than 100 scientific papers and won numerous awards, including the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.



Why the Moon Matters

The moon is the perfect steppingstone for further exploration and colonization of space. Due to the moon’s spin, the sun stays on the horizon at the lunar poles. Some regions are always dark and cold, making ice likely. The presence of ice and the steady bath of sunlight for energy provide the essential resources people would require to colonize the moon. The moon also offers lighter gravity than Earth, making further missions cheaper.

The Race to the Moon

Many myths and folk beliefs focus on the moon. It plays a role in some of the world’s great religions, in that the calendars that Judaism and Islam follow derive from the moon’s cycles. The moon’s pull on the tides shaped evolution on Earth. The moon steadies the Earth’s axial rotation, making geology and climate more stable.

Scientific examination of the moon began with the ancient Greeks. The philosopher Anaxagoras postulated that the moon didn’t shine on its own, but reflected sunlight; he correctly explained solar eclipses. Aristotle suggested the moon was a sphere. The ancient astronomer Aristarchus accurately estimated the moon’s distance from Earth. Centuries later, scientist...

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