A NASA official has said that people will be living on the moon and will be “doing science” in the next ten years.
Howard Hu who leads the US agency’s Orion lunar spacecraft programme said “in this decade” they are planning to have people stay on the moon.
He told BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, “We’re going to be sending people down to the surface and they’re going to be living on that surface and doing science.
“It’s really going to be very important for us to learn a little bit beyond our Earth’s orbit and then do a big step when we go to Mars.”
On Wednesday the unmanned Artemis rocket blasted off to orbit the moon which will then splash down in December in the Pacific Ocean, which was a historic day for human space flight,” Hu said.
He added, “It’s the first step we’re taking to long-term deep space exploration, for not just the United States but for the world.
“And 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.”
“For the Artemis generation, this is for you,” launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson said shortly before liftoff.
Blackwell-Thompson added following liftoff, “You have earned your place in history,”
“You’re part of a first. Doesn’t come along very often. Once in a career maybe.
“But we are all part of something incredibly special: the first launch of Artemis. The first step in returning our country to the moon and on to Mars.”