Do we need another Moon landing?


That’s a big question for us – we first visited there in person 47 years ago with primitive technology (with a heavy dose of bravery and guts), yet we do not have a plan of revisiting that currently.

After the Cold War ended, that is.

Oftentimes our advancements are spearheaded not due to scientific curiosity, but to political consideration. It is a well known fact that President Kennedy wanted to put a man on the Moon before Soviet did, and indeed the whole American managed to pull that off. James Webb, after which a giant space telescope is named, was the NASA administrator then, opposed to that idea. Science should come first, he said. That idea was dismissed and the whole Moon landing was done more like a reality show than a scientific endeavour.

ST-116-9-61 (formerly ST-116-1-61)
Watching flight of Astronaut Shepard on television, 05 May 1961. Link

What really pushes science forward? As science takes more money, land and time to do, it is not surprising that only a few superpowers in the world are able to conduct large-scale research. Be it Hubble, International Space Station or CERN, we need the support of decision makers and citizen support to do science in this era.

Data from World Bank, 2011-2015. Link

After all, people need to see the benefits of doing science researches in order to appreciate them. They should be aware of science, be able to understand and support good scientific research, and voice out when the policies are made on fake or weak researches. On the other hand, the country should help communicate the science to the public, facilitate the conversation between public and scientific community, and make decisions that benefit the world and its citizens based on good and sound evidence.

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