To the moon and back

Published August 19, 2022

A render of the Earth’s moon, close up on a curve of the moon’s surface with the sun’s light reflecting in the top right against the darkness of space

I’m a fan of the moon. Weird thing to say, I know, but I love that big grey rock up there just minding its own business and inspiring astronauts all over the world to want to step on it. I’ve been ignoring space travel news (other than the fictional For All Mankind style stuff) for a good few years and I guess it feels like an odd time to be getting back into it again, what with the planet we’re actually on burning up quicker and quicker every day - who are we to sink billions in the atmosphere between here and our nearest orbital neighbour?

But hey, it’s happening whether I follow it or not and how can I not be excited about the potential for astronauts taking that giant step again?

Genuinely I must have been under a (space) rock for the past few years because project Artemis had completely passed me by. It’s in the headlines this week for being ahead of schedule - the giant rocket was rolled into position a mite earlier than expected - and that suddenly caught my attention. That slow four-mile roll was available to watch live-streamed on YouTube and for some reason the juxtaposition of the slow-going progress against the huge potential of such a rocket got me all goosebumpy.

It’s always felt odd that the decades keep on ticking by and the length of time it’s been since any humans were on the moon’s surface just keeps expanding (fifty years!) but the only way to solve that is to get back on up there, and that’s exactly what Nasa are doing. Their Artemis mission plans feel a little bit like For All Mankind come to life, what with the Lunar Gateway and the Artemis Base Camp.

I’m now keeping a close eye on these projects and the moon itself, with the launch of Artemis 1 scheduled for 29th August. I’ll be watching!

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