90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
NASA's Next Frontier
Celestial-Smackdown500

Left: Buzz Aldrin on the moon. Right: An artist's rendition of humans on Mars. (Photos courtesy of NASA.)

Forty years ago today, July 16th, 1969, mankind blasted off for the Moon, on its way to “The Eagle has landed” and “one small step.” Ticker tape parades and the American flag planted proudly on the lunar surface.

Forty years later, we have problems closer to home. But space still beckons. The US has competitors on the high frontier. And American space enthusiasts are debating where the next big push should be. Back to the Moon – maybe to build a giant solar energy station? Or straight on to Mars – maybe to create a second Earth.

This hour, On Point: Moon versus Mars, and what comes next in space.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guests:

Robert Zubrin is president of Pioneer Astronautics, an aerospace research and design company. He previously worked as an engineer at Lockheed Martin. He is the author of “The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must” and “How to Live on Mars: A Trusty Guidebook to Surviving and Thriving on the Red Planet.”

David Kring is Senior Staff Scientist at Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, TX. He is the former director of the NASA Space Imagery Center at the University of Arizona.

Harrison Schmitt is a crewmember from the 1975 Apollo 17 lunar mission, and a former New Mexico Senator.

Refubished photo of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin plant the U.S. flag on the Moon. (NASA)

Refurbished photo of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planting the U.S. flag on the Moon. (NASA)

Listen to NPR’s report on the missing Apollo 11 tapes and watch restored videos of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon and planting the U.S. flag.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

 
Oct 20, 2014
A statue of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on New York City's Roosevelt Island. (Flickr / Alexisrael)

Greatness and the American Presidency. Aaron David Miller says aim for good. Really good.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment