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The Eighth Continent: A Vision for Exploration of the Moon and Beyond

Summary: The Eighth Continent: A Vision for Exploration
of the Moon and Beyond
Nošel M. Bakhtian
and Alan H. Zorn
Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305
Matthew P. Maniscalco
Stellar Solutions, Inc., Palo Alto, California 94306
Four decades have passed since man first set foot on the Moon. The ensuing euphoria
filled us with anticipation and expectation that we would soon visit Mars, but this lofty
aspiration quickly faded. Should we return to the Moon? Should we visit some other solar
system destination, like Mars or an asteroid? Or should we simply not bother? Debate
grows over the justification for a return to the Moon. This paper explores the benefits of
pursuing future manned lunar missions for the good of all humanity and to further establish
the legacy of the human race as a spacefaring species.
I. Introduction
A decade of national perseverence, courage, and imagination culminated in man walking on the Moon on
July 21, 1969. On December 14, 1972, just over three years later, the lunar module ascent stage of Apollo 17
lifted Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt off the lunar surface -- marking the last time humans would set
foot on the Moon or any other celestial body. At the end of his third and last EVA on the surface, Cernan


Source: Alonso, Juan J. - Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University


Collections: Engineering