Book Review Date: May 21st, 2019
Written By: Leonard David
The race is on.
Amid the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Apollo program, all eyes are in the moon. In this provocative new book, veteran space journalist Leonard David guides is through the past, present, and future of Earth’s only satellite; the space destination most hotly pursued today.
In these inspiring pages, David reveals the Moon in all its facets, from ancient myth to future “moon village” plans. Beautifully illustrated with photos and artists’ renderings, Moon Rush offers crucial inside information, revealing how the U.S., it’s allies and competitors, and key private corporations like Elon Musk’s SpaceC and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin plan to reach, inhabit, and even harvest the Moon in the decades to come. New strategies are set against past efforts, including never-before-told stories about the Apollo missions and Cold War plans for military operations that eerily foreshadow today’s proposed Apace Force. A foreword by Buzz Aldrin and am afterward by Harrison Schmitt, representing the first and last Apollo missions to the Moon’s surface, frame this absorbing narrative.
With chapters in the Moon’s geological history and what it tells us about the universe, robotic missions and how they still matter today, and the prospect of harvesting the ice water and solar energy essential for life support and long-term lunar habitations, this timely and fascinating book sheds new light on our constant lunar companion and challenges us to see it in a whole new way.
So this read like a cross between a long scientific journal type article and a textbook (for possibly science or history or social studies). It also made me realize that I am a one hundred percent earthbound person. As much as I love SciFi and the idea of space and space travel, when you actually start talking real life actual specifics, I get this almost terrified, trapped feeling and my mind starts to list off why these things are all such a bad idea. Even while I’m reading the pros for space travel and living on/exploiting the resources of the moon.
This was a very interesting read, but it was also very dense with facts and information. I was expecting the photos and the words to be more interspersed with one another, to sort of let things breathe. But this is not that type of book. I find books like this fascinating, but also sort of fleeting. These aren’t stories that have a chance to age well. Science is constantly evolving. So, in ten years this book will feel outdated. Possibly it will be seen as a valuable contribution to the step forward into space travel that our future selves will have made. But also possibly it will be saying the same thing then as it does now and nothing much will have changed. And while I believe that I personally never willingly get in a metal can and float somewhere that could kill me in seconds if I was exposed to it (I mean, at least you can swim in water if you fall out of the boat), choosing instead to keep myself firmly planted on the ground, I do hope that our future generations are able to harness what the moon has to offer to help our planet survive or explore outside our own planet to be able to escape it if we ultimately kill it. So here’s hoping this book is a stepping stone for our future!
Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, I know exactly where I was standing.