NASA is certain that the astronauts who reach the Moon will live there permanently already in 8 years.
Orion lunar program manager Howard Hu says the Artemis 1 mission is “the first step toward the long-term exploration of deep space” and said humans could be active on the moon for “extended periods” before of 2030, with habitats to live in and rovers to support their work.
The Orion deep-space exploration mission saw the launch of the 98m-long Artemis rocket head for the Moon on its first unmanned mission. “It’s the first step we’re taking towards a long-term exploration of deep space, not just for the United States but for the entire world. I think this is a historic fact for NASA, but also for all the people who love human spaceflight and deep space exploration,” said Hu. “We are working towards a sustainable program and this is the vehicle that will carry the people that will land us back on the moon,” he added. The success of the mission will pave the way for the subsequent Artemis 2 and 3 flights. Artemis 3 could be launched in 2026 and should bring man back to the lunar surface for the first time since Apollo 17 (December 1972 mission).
The Artemis program also involves building the Lunar Gateway , a space station where astronauts will live and work as they orbit the Moon. “The target is really Mars,” Hu told the BBC. “It’s a bigger stepping stone, a two-year journey, so it’s going to be really important to explore beyond our Earth orbit.”
- Humans could live on the Moon in next eight years, Nasa says. (bbc.co.uk)