Originally posted on TED Blog:
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. Moon Day is held every July 20 to commemorate this momentous feat. 43 years later, humanity is still looking to the sky, mesmerized by lunar bodies. However, it is not just Earth’s moon we’re studying anymore. With better satellites and spacecrafts we know more about the moons of distant planets than ever before.
To celebrate Moon Day, catch up on the latest in lunar exploration and space travel. The ideas worth sharing here are the first steps in the next giant leap for mankind.
Bill Stone: The caves and the moon
In his TED2007 talk, Bill Stone discusses his efforts to study Jupiter’s moon Europa, with technology inspired by his experience exploring Earth’s deepest caverns.
Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbor life?
Life on a moon? As Carolyn Porco reveals in her TED2009 talk, Saturn’s moon Enceladus might have conditions supportive of pre-biotic life.
Brian Cox: Why we need explorers
In tough economic times, public spending for curiosity–driven science is often the first thing cut from state and national budgets. In his TEDSalon London 2010 talk, Brain Cox explains why exploration should still be a public priority.
Alain de Botton: Atheism 2.0
This talk contains the stirring words, “When you look at the Moon, you think, ‘I’m really small. What are my problems?’ It sets things into perspective. We should all look at the Moon a bit more often.”
Burt Rutan sees the future of space
Burt Rutan says we’re going back to the moon, but not in the way you think. As he explains in his TED2006 talk, the next moon walkers won’t be astronauts, but tourists in “spaceliners.”
Jon Nguyen: Tour the solar system from home
Want to see space, but don’t have billions for said spaceliner? No problem! Jon Nguyen demos NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s “Eyes on the Solar System,” free software for exploring solar systems in real time, at TEDxSanDiego.