NASA is accelerating plans to return to the Moon by 2028 for the first time since 1972 and claim that they will be there ‘to stay’.
The aerospace agency’s head Jim Bridenstine said they plan to make the moon sustainable for humans so they can go back and forth regularly.
Commander Gene Cernan was the eleventh and last man to walk on the lunar surface during the Apollo 17 mission 47 years ago.
President Trump said in 2017 that he wants to return Americans to the lunar surface and establish a foundation there for an eventual mission to Mars.
As a way-station for trips to and from the lunar surface, NASA want to build a space station, dubbed Gateway, in the Moon’s orbit by 2026.
The plan is to have the next man on the moon by 2028 adding that it’s important that they get back ‘as fast as possible,’ he said at NASA’s Washington headquarters.
‘This time, when we go to the Moon, we’re actually going to stay. We’re not going to leave flags and footprints and then come home to not go back for another 50 years.
‘We’re doing it entirely different than every other country in the world. What we’re doing is, we’re making it sustainable so you can go back and forth regularly with humans.’
Although to make all this as process as quick as possible, Mr Bridenstine said that the agency wishes to work with private space companies.
Before humans return, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024 and are now inviting bids from the private sector to build the probe.
They have pitched for ventures to build hardware, according to a document called the Broad Agency Announcement, a notice from the government that requests scientific proposals from private firms.
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