Foreword Reviews

Back to the Moon

The Next Giant Leap for Humankind

In Back to the Moon, astrophysicist Joseph Silk makes a compelling argument for a return to the moon and lays out an exciting vision for the next fifty years of lunar science.

Silk presents an exciting scenario featuring massive telescopes situated on the far side of the moon and in its dark craters for an unprecedented look into far space. “The last frontier in astronomy is exploring the dark ages, before the faint glimmerings of the first light in the Universe,” he writes, adding that low-frequency radio telescopes installed on the far side of the moon would offer the most radio-quiet environment available in the inner solar system. A mega-telescope on the moon could also further the search for the astronomer’s “holy grail”: signs of extraterrestrial life.

The book advises that powerful international and commercial interests are already gaining momentum in their drive to mine the moon’s precious resources to replace Earth’s dwindling supplies, and that the tourism industry hopes to dot the lunar surface with luxury hotels. NASA aims to build a habitable orbiting space station to coordinate lunar development and exploration, and European and Chinese space agencies are planning to establish lunar villages.

The book brings a warning that space colonization should not be a distraction from caring for Mother Earth. In addition, the possibility that humanity will export to the moon the attitudes and practices that have brought Earth to the brink of destruction is frightening. The very concept of a “race to the Moon” implies winners and losers, with the winners determining the future, not only of the moon, but of Earth itself.

Back to the Moon excites and inspires with its stunning suggestions for what the next fifty years of lunar exploration might entail, and it advocates for the primacy of science over politics and profit.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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