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US wants a crewed mission to the moon in five years – but could and should they do it?

US wants a crewed mission to the moon in five years – but could and should they do it?

US wants a crewed mission to the moon in five years – but could and should they do it?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and a significant turning point in world history. The Israeli robotic mission Beresheet has just arrived in lunar orbit, with a scheduled landingon April 11 – making Israel the fourth country to land on the surface of the moon. It follows China’s exciting first ever landing on the moon’s far side in January.

This new space race recently prompted the US vice president Mike Pence to commit to another manned moon mission within the next five years. But is this claim even possible, given that we haven’t sent people there since 1972? And is there any point in doing so from a scientific perspective?

If governments have a failing when it comes to human space exploration programmes, it is not understanding the level of time and commitment required to ensure success. The new pledge follows US president Donald Trump’s request in 2017 to get a manned mission to land on Mars before the end of his first term (2020).

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