Every year my CRPG colleagues and I attend the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Houston, Texas, which used to be held on the NASA campus south of the city (not so anymore). This was a thrilling place, immortalised in reports on the Gemini and Apollo missions and in Hollywood movies. You would enter the campus through a gate where you were checked by guards, and then you would drive past a Saturn V rocket lying on the side of the entrance road. The conference, quite tiny compared to the LPSC today, was held in the sports facilities of...

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