Nature News

Podcast: The previous, current and future Moon

Interviewer: Nick Howe

Nick right here – welcome again to Nature podcast This week we now have one thing a little bit totally different from the same old present. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the primary human march on the Moon, Nature has further lined all lunar issues. The journalist Alex Witze has reviewed the historical past of the Apollo missions and the way forward for the manned missions on the Moon. She joins me on the road immediately. Howdy Alex.

Individual interviewed: Alex Witze

Howdy.

Interviewer: Nick Howe

Thanks for becoming a member of me. So the very first thing I wished to speak about was that there was a report by which a plan was to deliver people again to the moon by NASA. Alex, are you able to inform me precisely what's on provide right here?

Individual interviewed: Alex Witze

So it's type of again on the moon. You possibly can consider this as a type of Apollo, however 50 years later. It’s an initiative of the Trump administration, which has in reality been very lively in area coverage. A few 12 months and a half in the past, the president mentioned he wished to ship the astronauts again to the moon. Just some months in the past, they set an much more formidable timetable. They mentioned we don’t need to be again on the moon by 2028, however by 2024. So NASA is actually going after it to attempt to get the cash and engineering to pack the people and ship all of them to the moon, as we did with Apollo 50 years in the past.

Interviewer: Nick Howe

OK, and why is 2024 the quantity they’re in search of?

Individual interviewed: Alex Witze

Effectively, you’ll be able to interpret that in many alternative methods. Extra considerably, if the present president is re-elected, we might have a lunar touchdown throughout the second time period of his time period, and the NASA administrator talked about making an attempt to do it shortly for – what they name – to retire politically. danger, mainly type of rowing this system by means of and doing it as a substitute of dragging it over a number of years.

Interviewer: Nick Howe

How life like is that this calendar?

Individual interviewed: Alex Witze

Effectively, all of this has to do with cash, proper? So how a lot cash does it take to get again to the moon and is the US authorities keen to spend it on NASA? So the Apollo program, in fact, was extremely costly. Do we now have this sort of cash now? Can we do it? It doesn’t appear as politically possible.

Interviewer: Nick Howe

Do we now have any concept of ​​the federal government's willingness to spend that?

Individual interviewed: Alex Witze

We aren’t actually at this level. Thus far, the federal government – it's the Congress, which actually spends the cash – to this point, Congress has not helped in any respect. Congress mainly ignored the request of the president's funds to pay for it. We'll see how that occurs within the coming weeks and months, however if you wish to go to the moon and construct a variety of subtle rockets quick, you want some huge cash and Congress doesn’t appear to need to be prepared for that. now.

Interviewer: Nick Howe

Effectively, possibly it's a really naive query, however we've been there earlier th