The mission will be a major milestone. Image Credit: NASA
The space agency has officially published its $28bn plan to land humans on the lunar surface within four years.
The ambitious mission, which will see the first woman ever to walk on the Moon and the first humans to return to the lunar surface in nearly 50 years, is set to happen by 2024 if all goes to plan.
Launching aboard an Orion spacecraft on top of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the crew - which will consist of one man and one woman picked from the existing pool of experienced ISS astronauts - will head to the Moon for the first landing since 1972.
The timeline however relies on Congress releasing the $3.2bn in funding needed for the development of a landing system capable of touching down on the lunar surface and taking off again.
"With bipartisan support from Congress, our 21st century push to the Moon is well within America's reach," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
"As we've solidified more of our exploration plans in recent months, we've continued to refine our budget and architecture. We're going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new a generation of explorers."
"As we build up a sustainable presence, we're also building momentum toward those first human steps on the Red Planet."
The new mission is part of America's efforts to cement its lead in the field of manned space exploration, as well as to lay the groundwork for a future mission to Mars.
One thing's for sure - if the mission does go ahead, it will be one for the history books.
Source: BBC News | Comments (4)