Humans are on track to live and work on the Moon by 2030, a NASA official has said.
“We’re going to send people to Earth and they’re going to be there doing science,” said Howard Hu, who heads NASA’s Orion program, the BBC reported on Sunday.
NASA launched its powerful Space Launch System rocket, or SLS, last week, sending the Orion spacecraft on its way to the Moon.
The launch, which had been repeatedly delayed, launched NASA’s Artemis mission, the first mission to return humans to the Moon in nearly 50 years.
Orion is unknown this time, because it wants to test its ability to bring a capsule to the Moon and back. But at some point it is expected to carry astronauts as it orbits the celestial world.
If all goes well, the same spacecraft could be used to put people on the Moon, for the first time since 1972, including the first female astronaut.
The current plan is for the crew to land near the south side of the Moon, where they will spend about a week looking for signs of water. If this precious water is found, it could be used to fuel rockets to Mars.
This means that permanent settlements will need to be built to support mining and scientific activities.
“It’s the first step that we’re doing in a long-term in-depth investigation, not just in the United States but around the world,” Hu told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.
Orion was due to fly by the Moon [on Monday] around 7:44 am ET (12:44 pm UTC). You can see NASA news here
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
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