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Last Updated : Feb 13, 2019 09:31 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NASA to send humans to the moon again, this time to stay

NASA wants to start the program as soon as possible, and the agency has already contracted nine companies for sending cargo to the moon

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National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is planning to send astronauts to the moon, but this time to stay. The space agency is sending humans to the moon for the first time after 1972.

“Today I’m proud to share a bold response to President Trump’s December 2017 call to action, one that will usher in the next chapter of human exploration,” said Jim Bridenstine, administrator at NASA. According to Bridenstine, the space agency is planning to send astronauts to the moon "and eventually to Mars and beyond”.

He also explained that NASA's vision is not just sending humans to the moon after half a century and then returning to the Earth. “We are going to the moon with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than we ever thought possible. This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay,” he said in his  column in OZY. He further stated that the agency plans to meet industry partners starting next week at NASA's headquarters in Washington DC. The meetings would be based on talking about lunar landers, which could help maintain "a sustainable, human presence beyond Earth's orbit”.

The first reusable lunar lander would be called Gateway which would be designed to ensure the safe journey of astronauts to the moon and back.”

Bridenstine insisted that the sustainable approach of the Gateway would create more commercial opportunities that would be necessary for long-term space exploration programs.

NASA wants to start the program as soon as possible, and the agency has already contracted nine companies for sending cargo to the moon. Bridenstine stated that NASA aims to land astronauts within the next decade. 

The scale of the program would be a lot bigger as billions around the world would watch a historical event being made as astronauts traverse more of the surface of the moon for a far longer time than before, Bridenstine said further adding that this mission would help NASA prepare for missions to Mars and other space explorations.
First Published on Feb 13, 2019 09:31 am
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