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These six countries are about to go to the Moon — here’s why

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2022-05-12 02:00:08

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An unprecedented number of nations are trying to get to the Moon in the next year. Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The Moon will be one of the most popular destinations in the Solar System in the next year. No fewer than seven missions are headed there from India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States, along with several companies.

NASA’s US$93-billion Artemis programme might be stealing most of the limelight with its maiden launch this year because it’s the first step towards sending astronauts to the Moon. But the United States is just one of many nations and private companies that soon plan to launch missions, heralding what scientists say could be a new golden age of lunar exploration.

Science isn’t the only driving force. The flurry of missions also signals the growing ambition of several nations and commercial players to show off their technological prowess and make their mark, particularly now that getting to the Moon is easier and cheaper than ever before.

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