Astronauts will live and work on the moon by 2030, says NASA | NASA

Astronauts will live and work on the moon by 2030, says NASA | NASA

Astronauts are on track to live and work on the moon before the end of the decade, according to NASA official.

Howard Hu, head of the US agency’s Orion lunar spacecraft program, said humans could be active on the moon for “duration” before 2030, with habitats to live in and rovers to support their work. .

“Of course, we’re going to have long-lived people in this decade, depending on how long we’re going to be on the surface. They’ll have habitats, they’ll have rovers on the ground,” he told the BBC’s Laura Kuensberg program on Sunday. “We’re going to send people to the surface and they’re going to live on that surface and do science,” he added.

Hu was put in charge of NASA’s Deep Space Exploration spacecraft in February, and on Sunday he spoke as the 98-meter (322-foot) Artemis rocket headed toward the moon on its the first unmanned mission.

The giant rocket that atop the Orion spacecraft launched Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, after a series of delays due to technical problems and hurricanes.

The spacecraft is carrying three fully clothed mannequins who will record the stresses and strains of the Artemis 1 mission. The rocket is now about 83,000 miles (134,000 km) from the moon.

“This is the first step we’re taking toward long-term deep space exploration, not only for the United States, but for the world. “I think this is a historic day for NASA, but it’s also a historic day for all the people who love human spaceflight and deep space exploration,” Hu said.

“We’re going back to the moon. We are working towards a sustainable program and this is the vehicle that will carry people and land us back on the moon,” he added.

NASA astronaut Gene Cernan on a lunar rover during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972 – the last time humans landed on the moon. Photo: NASA/Reuters

The spacecraft will fly within 60 miles of the moon and continue for another 40,000 miles before turning back and heading for a fall in the Pacific Ocean on December 11. The spacecraft will travel 1.3 million miles during the 25-day mission, the farthest a human-built spacecraft has ever flown.

Upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will travel at about 25,000 mph, sending the temperature of its heat shield up to approximately 2,800C (5,000F). It is expected to make landfall off the coast of San Diego.

A successful mission would pave the way for subsequent flights of Artemis 2 and 3, both of which would send humans around the moon and back. The Artemis 3 mission, which may not launch until 2026, is expected to return humans to the surface of the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 in December 1972. According to NASA’s plans, this mission will land the first woman on the moon, with a follow-up visit , landing the first man of color on the lunar surface.

The Artemis program, named after Apollo’s twin sister, also plans to build the Lunar Gateway, a space station where astronauts will live and work while orbiting the moon. “The forward movement is really towards Mars,” Hu told the BBC. “It’s a bigger step, a two-year trip, so it’s going to be really important to learn beyond our Earth orbit.”

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