The moon is our closest neighbor and yet, as this infographic demonstrates, we actually know very little about it. Men first stood on its surface in July 1967 and nobody has returned since Apollo 17 left in December 1972.
Now NASA is working with commercial companies to continue space exploration. It’s to this end that they plan the next visit to the moon in 2024, more than 50 years since the last manned mission. The planned mission is a learning opportunity as the next step in space exploration will be a manned mission to Mars.
The moon is seen as a treasure trove of information and scientists hope to learn a whole lot about the moon, the solar system, and the galaxy in which we live. They hope to find rare earth metals and, if they’re really lucky, water.
NASA plans to build a Gateway that will allow crews to live in orbit so that they can make lots of trips to the surface of the moon. To this end, NASA is building small landers that will take the astronauts onto the lunar surface on a regular basis. This should deliver a whole lot more fascinating facts about the moon.