AuthorsFrom the Wire

Lunar Visions: PW Talks with Rebecca Boyle

In this captivating interview with Rebecca Boyle, author of “Our Moon,” she discusses her love for space and astronomy. Boyle shares her fascination with Earth’s moon and its influence on humanity, expressing her hopes for the future of lunar exploration. With a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, Boyle delves into unanswered questions about the moon and offers her predictions for its role in scientific research and exploration. Through her words, readers are invited to appreciate the moon as more than just a celestial body, but as a potential partner world for Earth.

Lunar Visions: PW Talks with Rebecca Boyle

Lunar Visions: PW Talks with Rebecca Boyle

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In a recent interview with Rebecca Boyle, a renowned astronomer and author, we gained fascinating insights into her passion for astronomy, her thoughts on the moon, and her hopes for the future of lunar exploration. Boyle’s deep fascination with the cosmos was evident throughout our conversation, as she shared her childhood memories, pondered the mysteries of our closest celestial neighbor, and discussed the potential paths humanity might take in our exploration of the moon.

What drew Rebecca Boyle to astronomy?

Boyle’s love for astronomy can be traced back to her childhood, a time when she gazed up at the night sky, marveling at the moon and stars. The Apollo landings, with their groundbreaking achievements, further fueled her curiosity and passion. For Boyle, the study of astronomy goes beyond scientific inquiry—it elicits a profound sense of awe and humility. She acknowledges the insignificance of our existence on Earth in the vast universe, yet finds the experience both magical and rare.

Lunar Visions: PW Talks with Rebecca Boyle

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The biggest unanswered question about the moon

One of the most significant unanswered questions about the moon, according to Boyle, is its rarity in the solar system. Our moon, with its unique properties, stands out among its peers. Boyle wonders if such large, single satellites are rare in the broader galaxy and what this implies for the existence of life elsewhere. Additionally, she is intrigued by the chemical differences between the near and far sides of the moon, a phenomenon that still puzzles scientists.

Hopes for the future of the moon

When contemplating the future of lunar exploration, Boyle articulates her hope that humanity will treat the moon as a partner world to Earth. She suggests drawing inspiration from how we approach Antarctica—a remote and inhospitable environment that is respected and visited for short periods. Boyle emphasizes the importance of learning from the legacy of exploration on our own planet, importing curiosity and courage while avoiding exploitation of both natural resources and fellow humans.

Lunar Visions: PW Talks with Rebecca Boyle

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The most likely course of events for the future of the moon

Boyle envisions a future where the moon becomes a hub for scientific discovery, hosting permanent science outposts for a select number of countries. She also sees the possibility of astronomical observatories being established on the lunar surface, further expanding our understanding of the universe. However, Boyle expresses concern over the potential for the moon to become a mine or a battleground, highlighting the dark realities we must guard against. On a more positive note, she believes the moon can serve as a crucial way station for exploration beyond our solar system, with both NASA and private space explorers recognizing its significance as a pathway to Mars.

Potential permanent science outposts on the moon

Within the realm of the moon’s future, Boyle envisions the establishment of permanent science outposts, akin to research facilities. These outposts would serve as collaborative hubs for international lunar research, enabling scientists from different countries to work together towards a deeper understanding of the moon’s mysteries. Boyle emphasizes the importance of cooperation and the shared pursuit of knowledge in our exploration of this celestial body.

The moon as a mine or battlefield

While the moon holds untapped potential as a resource-rich celestial body, Boyle urges caution in its utilization. She voices concerns about the possibility of the moon being used solely as a mine, arguing that we must balance our economic interests with the preservation of the moon’s intrinsic value. Additionally, she warns against the militarization of the moon, as geopolitical struggles could transform our closest neighbor into a battleground. Boyle encourages humanity to approach the moon with a mindset of stewardship and peaceful collaboration.

The moon as a way station for exploration

For Boyle and many space enthusiasts, the moon represents a crucial stepping stone in our exploration of the cosmos. As NASA officials and private space explorers recognize the moon’s significance as a pathway to Mars, the moon could serve as a way station for future space missions. Its proximity to Earth and its capacity to support human life make it an ideal launch pad for further expeditions to other celestial bodies.

The moon as a research base and port

Boyle envisions the moon as a research base and, in the longer term, a port—a gateway to further space exploration. Through a combination of scientific research and infrastructure development, the moon can facilitate our exploration of the solar system and beyond. By establishing a foothold on the lunar surface, we can expand our knowledge of the universe and pave the way for future generations of explorers.


Rebecca Boyle’s passion for astronomy and her thoughtful insights into the moon’s role in our future exploration leave us with a sense of wonder and possibility. As we gaze up at the night sky, we are reminded of the vastness of the cosmos and the potential that lies within our reach. With a balance of curiosity, respect, and responsible stewardship, we can navigate the path ahead and embark on a new era of lunar exploration.