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Lunar Science Community Needs Rebuilding

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 13, 2008
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NASA needs a new generation of lunar research and exploration specialists to accomplish its plans to send humans back to the moon, Leonard David reports at

“That talent largely was dissipated after the Apollo lunar landing program ended in 1972. As a result, several steps need to be taken to recuperate both the scientific and technical expertise that will be needed to investigate and understand the Moon,” David writes.

NASA recently took a step in this direction when the agency opened the Lunar Science Institute at Ames Research Center on April 11. The institute will lead the space agency’s lunar science programs and coordinate teams of scientists across the country.

David’s article discusses both present and future robotic missions aimed at exploring Earth’s closest celestial neighbors. Lunar exploration is becoming increasingly international; China and Japan currently have orbiters circling the moon.

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