The scientists and storytellers, who paved the way for the 1969 lunar landing, always saw that feat as a stepping-stone to the wider cosmos. Yet for their political masters, the decade’s dash to the moon was the end-point of this Cold War race. It has taken another 50 years to make Lunar and Martian colonies a serious possibility with NASA's Artemis mission and Elon Musk’s planned crewed mission to Mars, both in 2024. What does this mean for our identity as a species? Are we all citizens of the world now, or of the universe?
Were the astronauts of the 1960s human pioneers or Cold War warriors? Undoubtedly the prevailing narrative has been one of stoical men strapped into tin boxes and flung into an adventure whose dangers and discomforts most of us could barely imagine. A glamour clung to the Apollo astronauts, who were mythologised before they even flew. Icarus-like, they lived hard and dabbled with mortality. The mythology of the Apollo era is teased apart in the first section of our 'Uncharted Constellations' anthology, titled Moon Warriors.