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Space & Astronomy

Astronauts could fly around the Moon by 2019

February 25, 2017 | Comment icon 9 comments



Astronauts could be flying around the Moon sooner rather than later. Image Credit: NASA
NASA is considering whether to send a crew on its first integrated Orion, SLS flight around the Moon.
It has been almost 50 years since the last human set foot on the surface of another world and with the discontinuation of the Space Shuttle program back in 2011, manned space exploration has become limited to routine journeys to and from the International Space Station.

This could soon be set to change however thanks to NASA's Orion Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System - two projects which when combined have the potential to take humans all the way to Mars.
The first mission to use both, Exploration Mission 1, had been set to achieve a retrograde lunar orbit in 2018, but now NASA has revealed that it is considering sending a crew of astronauts along for the ride, a proposal that, if successful, would see humans venture further from Earth than ever before.

A detailed assessment will first need to be carried out however to determine whether it would be safe to do this and what type of modifications would need to be made to ensure the crew's safety.

"Our priority is to ensure the safe and effective execution of all our planned exploration missions with the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington.

Source: NASA.gov | Comments (9)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by highdesert50 6 years ago
Given the current administration's antiscience stance, i.e. climate change as politicized science, this might be a necessary and calculated risk to keep NASA in the public eye for future funding.
Comment icon #2 Posted by geraldnewfie 6 years ago
get spacex to do it, faster on getting funding as nasa is low on funds these days because US is spending it on nukes
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
You do realise that a lot of SpaceX's funding has come from NASA don't you?
Comment icon #4 Posted by muzzy101 6 years ago
So let me get this straight highdesert, even though obama wanted to move NASA out of the space exploration business and use it as a tool to push his climate agenda rather than what it was formed to do, that somehow makes the current administration's agenda anti-science and makes this a stunt?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew 6 years ago
Wherever the money flows, there will be a political agenda. I knew someone who worked at the CDC and said how political it had become. I believe Obama also ordered NASA to highlight Muslim contributions to science as a priority....
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
Folks, let's try and stay on topic. There are enough posts pro- are anti-Trump in the US Politics section. Let's leave them there and keep posts here relevant to the Orion/SLS programme please. Thank you.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Merc14 6 years ago
I hope they stick to their original schedule and launch an unmanned capsule in 2018 as planned.   
Comment icon #8 Posted by geraldnewfie 6 years ago
yes which makes my point, they must be low on funds to support spacex instead doing it themselves. what we need is take the billions from the war BS and use it for nasa
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 6 years ago
What are you talking about? You are arguing in circles and making no sense. First you claim that NASA should get SpaceX to do the mission because NASA are low on funds. Then when I pointed out to you that most of SpaceX's funding for crewed missions comes from NASA you claim that this is proof NASA is low on funds because otherwise NASA would be doing it themselves. NASA ARE doing it themselves... That was the very thing you said they shouldn't be doing. NASA are currently funding THREE crewed spacecraft, the Orion (which whilst you are going around in illogical circles you may have missed is ... [More]


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