The Chang’E-3 lander spacecraft on the Moon. The two upcoming lunar missions will probably use landers similar to this one.

China’s Moon Missions Are Anything But Pointless

The value of the nation’s lunar robotic missions goes beyond science.

A pit crater in Mare Tranquillitatis.

Cave Living on the Moon

Caves could make useful lunar habitats, but not if they aren’t where you need them.

An artistic rendition of the Lunar Prospector rover, exploring the lunar surface in the polar regions.

Favorable Signs for a Lunar Return

The Moon may once again play a significant role in the U.S. space program.

This new 39-foot-diameter impact crater formed sometime between October 25, 2012 and April 21, 2013.

Lunar Craters May Be Forming Faster Than We Thought

New images show a more active surface on the Moon.

Artist’s conception of the KPLO, Korea’s planned lunar orbiting mission, scheduled for launch in late 2018.

South Korea’s 2018 Lunar Mission

Another nation joins the international movement to the Moon.

Three ways to lower the costs of human spaceflight: reusable launch vehicles (left), heavy lift rockets (middle), mining the Moon for propellant (right). All three have advantages and disadvantages.

Lowering the Cost of Human Spaceflight

Three ways to make things cheaper.

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this view of the craters Messier (right) and Messier A (left). Both craters were likely produced during an oblique impact, only a few degrees above the horizontal. The projectile was traveling from right to left. Messier (at right) was made first, but ricochet and downrange propagation of the top of the projectile (decapitation) made Messier A. Note the ejecta blanket of Messier extend at right angles to the impact direction, while whisker-like rays extend downrange from Messier A in the same direction as the impact.

Ricochets, Decapitations and Lunar Sculptures

How some of the largest craters on the Moon were created.

The Long March 7 lifts off from China's new Wenchang launch center on June 25, 2016.

Continuing the Long March to the Moon

China’s goals and aspirations in space become ever clearer.

Mosaic of surface images taken by Surveyor 1, pasted onto the inside of a hollow sphere to preserve the view geometry of the camera. Regolith soil and rocks are clearly visible.

Surveyor 1, America’s First Lunar Landing

A past milestone…and possibly a future one

Gerard P. Kuiper, founder of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Who ‘Created’ Planetary Science?

Is there a single founder of this discipline?

The author in the library of the Royal Astronomical Society in London with Cassini’s 1679 map of the Moon.

Lunar Resources: Beyond the Fringe

A recent meeting in London suggests that more people are coming to accept the idea of using space resources.

Geological map of the Crisium impact basin.

Mapping Melts on the Moon

Small deposits of impact melt can help explain early lunar history, if you know where the material came from.

Listening for aliens? The Apollo 10 Command/Service Module as seen from the lunar lander.

Apollo’s Mysterious “Music,” Explained

Are aliens singing to us?

The experimental DC-X vehicle at engine ignition. The program was designed to develop the technologies needed for reusable, single-stage-to-orbit space travel.

Reusable Launch Vehicles and Lunar Return

The real value of the SpaceX and Blue Origin achievements is to make living on the Moon more feasible.

An astronaut on Mars? Nope—some guy in a space costume.

Simulating Human Space Missions

Are Earth analogs helpful?

None

Another Way to Land on the Moon

It’s difficult and expensive to soft-land a spacecraft on the Moon, so why bother?

The layered rocks of the Colorado Plateau—the uplifted floor of an immense, filled impact basin? Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park.

Could the Colorado Plateau Be an Ancient Impact Scar?

Conjectures on a road trip across the American West

In this artist’s conception, a robotic lunar miner extracts water from the regolith near a pole of the Moon.

Lunar Water Creates New Capabilities in Space

Why try to mine water from the Moon if it’s cheaper to launch water from Earth?

Remote sensing involves examining a target in many different wavelengths, each one carrying different compositional and/or physical information. Of the six bands shown here, only radar uses “active” sensing (i.e., provides its own illumination).

Return of the Double Eagle?

Beam-blasting the Moon offers a clever solution to a tricky measurement.

A trio of “Pit-bots” explore a lunar cave.

Drones on the Moon

Is it possible to explore the Moon with low-altitude flying spacecraft?

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