It's been thirty-five years since people last trod the dusty plains of the Moon. Over the course of six landings from 1969 to 1972, twelve men explored, four-wheeled, dug and hiked across the lunar surface. Now, NASA has plans for a seventh landing on the Moon. This time, they want to stay. NASA's plans, dubbed the Constellation architecture, involve the largest launch vehicle ever built, new types of propulsion, and a six-person vehicle to ferry crews from Earth to the Moon. But NASA's plans go far beyond Luna. Eventually, the lessons learned on the Moon's outpost at Shackleton Crater will teach us how to live―permanently―on the most Earthlike world in our solar system, Mars. NASA will have company: plans for future lunar exploration are being drawn by Europe, Japan, China and India.
While specific hardware and mission details will be in flux for some time, the overarching goals, strategies and inspiration for the seventh landing will not change. This book will choose a typical scenario for getting to the Moon that embraces the spirit of exploration embodied by NASA's Constellation architecture. Each chapter moves from a general description to the specific nuts-and-bolts of engineering and science. The Seventh Landing reveals the very latest strategies for how we'll get to the Moon, what we know today, what we want to find out, and what life will be like at the first true outposts on the Moon and Mars.
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