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From our Expert Voices conversation on what we could learn from a new human trip to the Moon.

The Moon is the Rosetta Stone of our solar system, used by planetary scientists to decipher the most ancient history of our celestial neighborhood.

Wind, water, volcanic eruptions and movements of Earth's rocky crust erase evidence here of the solar system's earliest days. But the Moon preserves that history. Its records of rocky collisions and volcanic activity provide foundational data to estimate the ages and surface processes of early Earth, Mars, Europa and beyond.

Why it matters: New missions to the lunar surface would enable us to confirm hypotheses about the frequency and intensity of collisions in the early solar system, the activity of volcanoes on the Moon, and the origins of water and other volatile materials in its shadowed polar regions. Each of these questions has implications for how Earth, Mars, and other rocky planets formed, as well as whether and when environments conducive to life developed.

Another thing: Beyond science, access to the surface of the Moon would inspire the world to work together to expand our frontier of exploration farther into our solar system.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers

Rochelle Walensky listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C. on July 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky on Friday reiterated her decision to go against a recommendation by a CDC advisory panel that refused to endorse booster shots for workers whose jobs put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19.

Driving the news: "Our healthcare systems are once again at maximum capacity in parts of the country, our teachers are facing uncertainty as they walk into the classroom," Walensky said at a Friday briefing. "I must do what I can to preserve the health across our nation."

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Biden pushes massive economic plan despite "stalemate"

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday urged congressional Democrats to overcome differences surrounding his multi-trillion-dollar economic proposal but said he's still confident it will pass.

Why it matters: It's currently unclear how the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package will move forward with moderate and progressive Democrats in disagreement over critical portions of the legislation.