The entire Apollo 11 mission to the moon took just eight days. If we ever want to build permanent bases on the moon, or perhaps even Mars or beyond, then future astronauts will have to spend many more days, months and maybe even years in space without a constant lifeline to Earth. The question is how would they get hold of everything they needed. Using rockets to send all the equipment and supplies for building and maintaining long-term settlements on the moon would be hugely expensive.
Today, discussions about lunar exploration have moved away from establishment of a permanent lunar base as a preliminary for extended exploration. Instead, there has been a significant advance in planning the construction of the Deep Space Gateway – a space station in orbit around the moon. This is an international project between a number of different space agencies.
NASA’s Apollo programme was one of the most challenging technological achievements in the 20th century. Beyond the space race and exploration, it contributed to several inventions and innovations that are still having an impact on our lives. But at the same time, there are several myths regarding what technologies actually came out of it.
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