Space exploration: the Moon, Mars, and beyond


We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the landing on the Moon, and it is a good to keep asking the right questions about the goals of space exploration.

      Should we try and go back to the Moon?
      Should we go to Mars instead?
      Should we try and settle Mars?
      How quickly can we get a Mars mission up and running?
      Can we engineer an interstellar mission?
      What is the current thinking about the Fermi paradox?
      What are our chances of discovering extraterrestrial life?

These are the questions that I had the chance to ask to Giovanni Bignami, former Chairman of the Space Science Advisory Committee of the European Space Agency, and author of the ESA Cosmic Vision 2015-25 ten year planning document, on the video “Space Exploration: the Moon, Mars, and beyond“:

If you don’t have the eight minutes to watch the video, here are the answers* to the questions:

      No
      Yes
      Maybe
      Very
      No
      Fermi rulez!
      Guaranteed within ten years!**

Wired Moon special

I want to thank Riccardo Luna, director of Wired Italy for making this encounter happen. Wired’s July issue dedicated entirely to the Moon, and Giovanni was the guest editor of the issue.

*It would be cool if somebody transcribed the video for subtitling…
**Is this a bombshell or what?