It is over 30 years since the last human being stood on the lunar surface and this long hiatus in human exploration has been to the detriment of lunar and planetary science. The primary scientific importance of the Moon lies in the record it preserves of the early evolution of a terrestrial planet, and of the near-Earth cosmic environment in the first billion years or so of Solar System history. This record may not be preserved anywhere else; gaining proper access to it will require a human presence. Moreover, while this will primarily be a task for the geosciences, the astronomical and biological sciences would also benefit from a renewed human presence on the Moon, and especially from the establishment of a permanently occupied scientific outpost
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