The half-century since the first lunar landing has seen more stories than ever being spun about the moon, and why we should go there

moon
The beauty of the moon has long sparked human imagination

Ni Shubin / Xinhua / eyevine

ON 7 December, China launched a mission to carry a lander and rover to the surface of the moon. On the eve of the half-centenary of Apollo 11’s moon landing and Neil Armstrong’s famous fluffed line about a small step for a man, the Chinese moonshot, called Chang’e 4, may be an indication of where mastery of space – not to mention Earth – is shifting.

The Apollo missions asserted US dominance at the height of the cold war, which is why Armstrong …

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