Our Apollo-inspired dreams of living on the moon could still come true

CNET | 7/19/2019 | Eric Mack
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This story is part of To the Moon, a series exploring humanity's first journey to the lunar surface and our future living and working on the moon.

In 1968, Edward Guinan was a young graduate student studying the universe from an observatory in New Zealand. And like countless members of the Apollo generation, he anticipated the moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the following year would be the start of Manifest Destiny, lunar edition.

Moon - Beginning

He believed landing on the moon was just the beginning.

"I was a space advocate, I was involved with building rockets and things of that sort, so I was a big fan of the program," Guinan, who would go on to have a pioneering career in astrophysics and planetary science at Villanova University, tells me.

Observations - New - Zealand - Credit - Ring

Some of the observations he made in 1968 from New Zealand would eventually earn him credit for discovering a ring system around Neptune. At the time he looked forward to a coming age of new observatories on the surface of the moon that could see deeper and more clearly into the cosmos, because they would be unobstructed by any kind of weather or atmosphere.

And naturally, doing more science on the moon would require sending more scientists there, something that didn't happen much with the Apollo missions.

Scientists - Apollo - Mission - Test - Pilots

"Even though scientists did fly on the last [Apollo mission] they were all test pilots and things like that," Guinan recalled. "They did a good job, but they weren't trained [scientists]."

Guinan was just one of many dreamers at the time who imagined a new role for the moon in the near future.

New - York - Times - Magazine - Essay

In 1967, the New York Times Magazine published an essay by famed author and robot evangelist Isaac Asimov alongside a full-page illustration of a concept for a "Lunar City."

"In the next 50 years, by...
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