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Life on the Moon44:40
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Stephen Hawking keeps saying it: we've got to get off this planet and colonize space if the human race is to survive long-term.

Last week, NASA unveiled its plans for the first colony in space: on the moon. By 2020. Not the moons of Jupiter or Mars, but the good old Earth moon, where humans have now not set foot since 1972.

Why the moon? Well, it's close. Just a three day flight. It's got hydrogen and oxygen and lots of solar energy. We'll learn to live in space, and maybe build a launch site there for Mars.

This hour On Point we'll talk with a lunar scientist, a NASA watcher and an astronaut about the case for the moonbase, and the nuts and bolts of living on the moon.

Guests:

Traci Watson, USA Today NASA reporter

Paul Spudis, lunar scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Howard McCurdy, professor of public policy at American University in Washington DC and author of "Space and the American Imagination"

Michael R. Clifford, former NASA astronaut and Boeing's director of technology development for the International Space Station Program

This program aired on December 11, 2006.

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