What did the Apollo Moon missions ever do for us? To mark the fortieth anniversary of the last man on the Moon, science writer Chris Riley examines the difference this brief human adventure has made to all our lives.
In December 1972, astronaut Gene Cernan left the last footprint on the Moon. In that brief era of lunar exploration, only twelve men had walked on the Moon's surface but, forty years on, the legacy of those missions is still having an impact.
Chris Riley talks to astronauts, philosophers and entrepreneurs about the enduring impact of Apollo. By pushing technology to its limits, the missions showed us what we could achieve as a species. In the longer term, they accelerated the development of modern electronics, inspired the environmental movement and even helped thaw Cold War relations.
Tens of thousands of schoolchildren became scientists and engineers as a result of Apollo. The missions to the Moon made the Earth a very different place.
Producer: Richard Hollingham.
A Boffin Media production for Radio 4.