Takes a look at what we can expect to see in the next five years of Moon exploration with Sky & Telescope's infographic from the July 2019 issue.
Almost 50 years ago, humans landed on the Moon. Soon, we are due to return.
NASA, Russia’s Roscosmos, and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) are all building up to a long-term human presence on or near the Moon. The European Space Agency, as well as space agencies in India, South Korea, and Japan are also ramping up robotic lunar exploration. Meanwhile, a plethora of commercial missions aim to send orbiters, landers, rovers, and even tourists to the Moon, in a private space boom jump-started by Google’s Lunar XPRIZE, NASA partnerships, and good old-fashioned entrepreneurship.
"This infographic was designed to show the continuing fascination we have with the Moon," says Sky & Telescope's Art Director Terri Dubé. "Rather than show an exacting map of planned flight paths and routes, this graphic was developed to convey the many different countries, missions, and techniques involved in exploring our planet's nearest natural satellite."
Delays will no doubt hound some of these missions, and not all of them will be successful. (Note: the information shown here is accurate as of April 15th.) Nevertheless, here are some of the missions to the Moon that we expect to see over the course of the next five years, including their preliminary launch dates and, where applicable, their planned landing sites.
Celebrate the Apollo 11 anniversary with Sky & Telescope's July 2019 issue.