Back to the Moon: The Next Giant Leap for Humankind

Princeton Univ. Nov. 2022. 304p. ISBN 9780691215235. $29.95. SCI
This riveting work by accomplished astrophysicist Silk (Johns Hopkins Univ.; The Infinite Cosmos) examines the exciting possibilities of returning to the moon. One opportunity involves exploring the origins of the universe. The moon’s dark side provides the most radio-quiet environment in the inner solar system, protecting it from the earth’s interference and providing ideal conditions for low-frequency radio telescopes that can search deep into the past, even before the formation of stars. Other intriguing options include constructing mega telescopes on the moon’s surface to search for extraterrestrial life, mining for resources that are becoming scarce on earth, harnessing solar power, and even building lunar villages for human habitation. Silk stresses that the goal of his book is to provide inspiration that these lunar projects and explorations be led by science. Since these efforts will involve multiple space agencies in several countries, the author asserts the need for international space treaties to promote cooperation, instead of competition, and to avoid repeating mistakes made on the planet, such as pollution. The author employs engaging, lively prose, which will appeal to a wide range of readers.
VERDICT Share this timely book with anyone interested in cosmology or the possibilities of future lunar exploration.
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