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Humanity’s Lunar Habitats

A look at current plans to return to the moon…and stay there

2 min read
On the moon, Apollo 11 ­astronaut Buzz Aldrin carries research equipment to the deployment area in the Sea of Tranquility.
Moonwalk: Apollo 11 ­astronaut Buzz Aldrin carries research equipment to the deployment area in the Sea of Tranquility.
Photo: NASA

The 50th anniversary of the first human moon landing is upon us (20 July, to be exact). This roughly 772,000-kilometer round-trip expedition is being celebrated all year long—booksmoviescommemorative magazine issues, and special events abound.

 In May, IEEE gave its President’s Award to the remarkable and indomitable Katherine Johnson, who helped calculate, by hand, the trajectory for the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission. If you have US $9 million dollars to spare, you can drop by Christie’s in New York City on 18 July to bid in the auction of Apollo 11’s Lunar Module Timeline Book, with its three-hole-punched pages and hand-checked flight plan. Don helmet and gloves—check. Test cabin ­regulator—check.

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Top Tech 2022: A Special Report

Preview two dozen exciting technical developments that are in the pipeline for the coming year

1 min read
Photo of the lower part of a rocket in an engineering bay.

NASA’s Space Launch System will carry Orion to the moon.

Frank Michaux/NASA

At the start of each year, IEEE Spectrum attempts to predict the future. It can be tricky, but we do our best, filling the January issue with a couple of dozen reports, short and long, about developments the editors expect to make news in the coming year.

This isn’t hard to do when the project has been in the works for a long time and is progressing on schedule—the coming first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, for example. For other stories, we must go farther out on a limb. A case in point: the description of a hardware wallet for Bitcoin that the company formerly known as Square (which recently changed its name to Block) is developing but won’t officially comment on. One thing we can predict with confidence, though, is that Spectrum readers, familiar with the vicissitudes of technical development work, will understand if some of these projects don’t, in fact, pan out. That’s still okay.

Engineering, like life, is as much about the journey as the destination.

See all stories from our Top Tech 2022 Special Report

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