For millennia, the moon has been an endless source of fascination for mankind. Sitting roughly 240,000 miles from Earth, it is our only natural satellite and the largest visible object in the night sky. Its beauty is described by poets, it is thought to affect our moods, and it’s studied by scientists and stargazers alike. The moon isn’t just a pretty view through a telescope, however—it plays an important part in keeping our planet stable and livable.
In 1969, NASA took its “one giant leap for mankind,” making history by putting a man on the moon for the first time. During its Apollo missions in the late ’60s and ’70s, the space program sent a total of nine missions to the moon, with six of those landing missions astronauts to explore the surface. The data collected by the moon landings not only helped scientists learn about the moon itself but also how it affects our own planet. Today, NASA has three robotic spacecraft orbiting the moon, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which was created to make a 3D map of the Moon’s surface, and two ARTEMIS spacecraft probes, launched in 2011 to provide data on solar wind.
This ongoing research has expanded what we know about the moon since that first NASA launch. Stacker compiled a list of 25 things we’ve learned about the moon since 1969. Resources used include data from NASA, the Smithsonian, and breaking news reports, with the aim of creating a comprehensive list of these monumental discoveries about our universe.
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