Basic Moon Information

About the Moon Society Web Logo

First some credits: the near-side Moon image in our current web logo (upper right) is condensed from a compilation of Clementine images, obtained from the NASA photogallery archive.

The Moon Society - near side image

 

 

You may have seen our earlier web logo (lower right): this is actually an image of the east side of the Moon, on its side, taken during one of the Apollo missions. Thanks go to Marianne Dyson for pointing this out.

The Moon Society - east side image

More nice lunar images from missions back through the Apollo era are available from the Consolidated Lunar Atlas.

Exploring and Developing the Moon

The Moon Society vision is of human development of the Moon, and use of lunar resources. The Artemis Data Book, particularly section 2, illustrates how we see development of the Moon as central to humanity's future in the solar system, and beyond. Serious proposals for manned lunar bases date back at least to the Lunex project and related concepts from the US armed forces in the late 1950's. Apollo had been intended to continue scaling up to bigger and more capable bases, until the budget cuts that finally ended the program with Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA studies for lunar bases resumed under the first President Bush's "Space Exploration Initiative" - but the $400+ billion price tag that came with (including a mission to Mars) killed the proposal in Congress, discouraging most NASA work along these lines since then.

Private and international groups of various sorts have taken up the cause since the early 1990s - the Artemis Project, Criswell's Lunar Solar Power project, European lunar base design workshops and studies of lunar architecture, telescopes, and lunar resources in general. A lot of people dream about it; will any of us be able to make it happen? From the private enterprise proposals, it seems only a matter of time, once the proposals are evaluated and taken seriously, but the legal framework for claiming lunar resources may need to be clarified first. And then there are the plans from China and India...

Whatever happens, the Moon Society is firmly convinced that the Moon will develop as a sister planet to Earth, and a key stepping stone to the stars. And if we work together maybe we can help move that day forward just a bit.

Some reliable sources

Space.com has a nice guide to looking at the Moon, including a Top 10 list of Moon facts and Moon phase information. The American Lunar Society is devoted to amateur lunar observation. NASA has a comprehensive lunar exploration timeline.

Googling for the Moon

The Moon, so close, yet so hard to reach, features large in the literature and mythology of humanity. The name, generic as it is, embeds itself in so much that a simple search turns up as many links to popular entertainment as to factual content. The directory query is a bit more useful, with subcategories on observing, the Apollo missions, eclipses, and links to information on phases, illusions, and the famous blue moons. A related directory category, on space colonization or settlement, brings us information on possible futures for the moon.

Google's image search engine gives a range of results from Apollo to computer simulations of the Moon's creation; with a few personal images thrown in for those lucky enough to have Moon for a surname. In the news, by contrast, the current lack of homicides leaves the real Moon well behind towns, counties, and police officers of the same name. At least for now... 

More Moon links:

Patricia Altner has a pretty comprehensive list of major science fiction works relating to the Moon.

More Moon Information from the Artemis Data Base and Other External Sites