In recent times, w have dawned a new space race and the destination is an old friend. Though not all involved are nation-states, even privately-owned organisations are looking to take their piece of the pie in the sky for many a differing reason.
Below we discuss the varied and flavoursome reasons the U.S. is prioritising boldly going where they have already visited.
As we all (should) know, the United States was the first nation to rally and land a man upon the moon's surface, to the dismay of the then Soviet Union.
Apollo 11 is often touted as a venture into the deep unknown for all to relish in humankind's technological accomplishment and worldwide celebration.
The true reason was direct competition with the Soviet Union post-cold war.
No matter the expense, monetarily or the cost of lives, President John F. Kennedy voiced to the nation that the mission to the moon was to strive to accomplish something simply because it was difficult to do.
Truthfully, the mission was posturing as the spirit of the cold war raged on.
Today, the reasons are a tidbit more logical yet no less puzzling.
The very first and most urgent issue to return to the moon is that too often politicians change their minds.
Right now the U.S. has the green light to visit the moon in the hopes of creating a gateway to Mars. Think of it as a pitstop or home away from home when we decide to push into the deep unknown after dusty red.
As of writing this, the budget for NASA has been upped to the tune of billions. The faster they burn through this budget and make significant strides towards Mars via the Moon, the better claim they have at extending and garnering more funding.
That right there is reason number 2, Mars.
This is a solid and long term plan to make travel to Mars ever closer to being a reality within our lifetime by the construction of "Gateway", an orbiting moon station.
The primary obstacle thus far has been President Trump, who believes we should go to Mars via the Moon, not understanding that NASA fully intends of heading to Mars via the Moon.
Sadly, much lower on the list is scientific discovery.
A recent discovery of water deep beneath polar craters where sunshine does not reach has created much scientific curiosity, specifically for the reason that ice has the potential to break down into hydrogen and oxygen, meaning potential breathable air.
The hydrogen broken down could also serve as a bank of fuel to rocket propulsion and ties in with the Gateway mission to Mars.
The final key reason the United States is burning the midnight oil to head to the Moon is to negate the ability for other planets to become a space superpower.
Nations such as India have voiced their intent to become a warfaring space state as a means of compensation for their inability to do so on Earth.
This very real threat of space war, or Space Pirates according to Ted Cruz, is enough to get the good old U.S. of A. to mount up their spacecraft and set up shop on the moon.