This book tells the story of the intractable, gripping attraction between the Earth and the Moon – two celestial bodies bound together so tightly that they can be considered a double planet. Half a century has passed since humans first laid foot on our planet’s satellite. It is time to get back on track, which means not only travelling long distances, leaving Earth’s orbit and using advanced technology, but also exploring how the Moon has influenced our lives and continues to do so. For ages, lunar movements and configurations have exasperated astronomers. The Moon’s charm has sparked cultish obsessions and accompanied the development of civilization. Even now, when an eclipse turns the Moon red, thousands feel compelled to stare at the sky. Yet, just when it almost came close enough to touch, space agencies’ strategic plans abandoned the Moon. This book highlights the invisible thread that binds us to our satellite in terms of superstition, science, and poetry. In the future, a new Moon awaits us.
After having worked at several astronomy and space exploration projects, Ettore Perozzi now heads the Italian Space Agency’s Space Situational Awareness Office. Asteroid no. 10027 is named after him.