Our Moon: From Imagination to Exploration


This is a 3-unit undergraduate course to be offered in Fall 2019 at the Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (Johns Hopkins University).

People imagined going to the Moon long before Neil Armstrong took those famous steps. Works such as Jules Verne’s 1865 book De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon) and Georges Méliès’s 1902 movie Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) served to inspire later exploration of the Moon in the second half of the 20th century. In 1959, Luna 2 became the first spacecraft to visit the Moon and since then a number of robotic and human missions have successfully explored the Moon. Analyzing data from those missions has led to a detailed scientific understanding of the Moon, yet certain fundamental questions remain unresolved. This calls for future exploration of the Moon. To be active participants of future exploration of the Moon, students in this course will understand the culture, history, engineering, and science of the Moon.