The waxing and waning of the Moon is not just a celestial phenomenon. In the 50 years since the U.S. and the former Soviet Union raced each other to get there, the Moon alternatively has been the focus or the footnote in human and science exploration blueprints. The 1994 Clementine project was the first U.S. mission to the Moon since the end of the Apollo program 22 years prior. Since then, about a dozen spacecraft have flown to the Moon. Half were U.S.-owned and the others belonged to ...

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