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Apollo 40 years on

On 20 July 1969, NASA's Apollo programme landed a man on the Moon, less than a decade after President John F Kennedy announced the goal to Congress. On the 40th anniversary of that milestone, Nature looks at the legacy of the Apollo missions and their influence on lunar science, as well as prospects for future manned missions that could see humans once again set foot on the Moon.



  • Iconic Images

    A slideshow of eye-catching photographs from the Apollo missions.

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  • The Moon in pictures

    How was the moon formed? Why is it a funny shape? And what's that orange soil made of?



  • The moonwalker

    Harrison Schmitt was the first and last scientist to touch the lunar surface.

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  • One giant leap for art

    Astronaut Alan Bean stepped down onto the lunar surface during the 1969 Apollo 12 mission, but left NASA in 1981 to devote himself to painting. He tells Nature how he attempts to convey his lunar experience through his work.

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News & Features

  • Shooting for the Moon

    The Apollo programme inspired thousands of people to pursue careers in science. Today, they still support human spacefaring & but baulk at the price. Richard Monastersky reports on the results of a Nature poll.

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  • Why we need space travel

    Giovanni Bignami reflects on the people who persuaded him that we must send humans beyond Earth's orbit to inspire public and political support for science.

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  • The slow slide towards a new battlefield?

    The cold war saw governments develop international policies to regulate outer space for military and civil uses. Loopholes in those policies must now be closed, writes Roald Sagdeev.

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  • The return path to the Moon

    Jeff Kanipe reviews The Seventh Landing: Going Back to the Moon, This Time to Stay by Michael Carroll.

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  • Apollo books

    The anniversary of the first footstep on the Moon is being celebrated in an array of new books.

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From the Archives

Twitter & Blog

  • ApolloPlus40

    Nature News retrospectively tweets the Apollo 11 Moon landing in 'real time' 40 years later.

  • In the Field

    More on the Moon landings with blog posts to accompany our Apolloplus40 tweets.