The Atlantic

NASA Is Rushing to the Moon

In the agency’s most ambitious dreams, it will be testing moon-landing systems within the next five years.
Source: Johnson Space Center / NASA

Since 1969, 12 men have walked on the moon’s surface, leaving boot prints in the fine slate dust. In 1972, as the crew of the last lunar mission flew home, President Richard Nixon predicted, “This may be the last time in this century that men will walk on the moon.” Several presidents since have promised to put American astronauts on the moon again, someday, and the desire to return has not faded.

, leaked memos revealed that the president’s advisers had contemplated a moon return as early as 2020. By late 2017, federal officials directed NASA to focus on a voyage to the moon—not to plant another flag, but to build a lasting presence, aimed at

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPsychology
Why Some People Become Lifelong Readers
They can be identified by their independent-bookstore tote bags, their “Book Lover” mugs, or—most reliably—by the bound, printed stacks of paper they flip through on their lap. They are, for lack of a more specific term, readers. Joining their tribe
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The End of Netanyahu’s Unchecked Reign
The results yielded no clear path to a governing coalition, but represented a rejection of two dangerous ideas.
The Atlantic3 min read
Blink-182’s Secret Seriousness
Nine, the new album from Blink-182, a band forever associated with adolescence even though the members’ mean age is now 44, arrives haloed in that great teenage emotion: embarrassment. This summer they kicked off a tour with Lil Wayne, and the hope t