Humans could be living on the Moon by end of decade, says NASA official – – Our News, Your Views

Humans could be living on the Moon by end of decade, says NASA official

Image source: RTE

Humans could be living on the moon before the decade is out, a senior NASA official said after the successful launch of the Artemis rocket.

After a series of failed launch attempts earlier this year, Artemis 1 lifted off Wednesday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

The unmanned mission around the Moon will pave the way for a manned test flight and future human lunar exploration.

The Artemis carries the Orion lunar spacecraft, equipped with a dummy, a model of the human body used to measure the impacts of flight on the body.

Howard Hu, Orion program manager, said the launch was a “historic day for human space flight”.

He told the BBC on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “It’s the first step we’re taking to long-term deep space exploration, for not just the United States but for the world. I think this is an historic day for NASA, but it’s also an historic day for all the people who love human space flight and deep space exploration. I mean, we are going back to the Moon, we’re working towards a sustainable programme and this is the vehicle that will carry the people that will land us back on the Moon again,” reports RTE.

Named after the Greek goddess of the moon and sister of the god Apollo, the namesake of NASA’s first lunar missions, the Artemis program will see the construction of Lunar Gateway, a new space station where astronauts will be able to live and work.

He explained that the gateway would act as an orbiting platform that would be a launching point for lunar missions, with astronauts carrying “landers” from the platform to and from the Moon.

Saying the goal was for people to live on the moon, he said: “Certainly in this decade we are going to have people living for durations, depending on how long they are on the surface, they will have habitats, they will have rovers on the ground. We are going to be sending people down to the surface, they are going to be living there on the surface and doing science,” reports RTE.

He said the lunar missions were a step toward manned trips to Mars.

According to RTE, Mr. Hu added: “Moving forward is really to Mars, that is a bigger stepping stone, a two-year journey, so it’s going to be really important to learn beyond our Earth orbit.”

The mission is expected to last 25 days, including a one-way transit, a trip around the moon and satellite deployment, followed by a return transit before landing in the Pacific Ocean in December.

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