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

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

Astronauts are on their way to living and working on the moon before the end of the decade, he says NASA official.

Howard Hu, head of the U.S. Orion lunar spacecraft program, said humans could be active on the moon before 2030, with habitable habitats and rovers to support their work.

“Certainly, in this decade we will have people who will live a long time, depending on how long we will be on the surface. They will have habitats, they will have rovers on the ground,” he told the BBC on Sunday on the Laura Kuensberg programme. “We will send people to the surface, and they will live on that surface and do science,” he added.

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

The giant rocket, topped by the Orion spacecraft, launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday after a series of delays due to technical glitches and hurricanes.

The spacecraft is carrying three fully equipped dummies, which will register the stresses and strains of the Artemis 1 mission. The rocket is now about 83,000 miles (134,000 km) from the moon.

“It’s the first step we’re taking toward long-term deep space exploration, not just 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 on a sustainable program and this is the vehicle that will carry the people that will bring us back to the moon again,” he added.

NASA astronaut Gene Cernan on the 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 another 40,000 miles before turning around and aiming for a crash in the Pacific Ocean on December 11. The spacecraft will travel 1.3 m miles during the 25-day mission, the furthest a human-built spacecraft has ever flown.

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

A successful mission would pave the way for subsequent Artemis 2 and 3 flights, 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 lunar surface for the first time since Apollo 17 in December 1972. According to NASA’s plans, that mission would land the first woman on the moon, with a subsequent visit landing the first colors of a person on the surface of the Moon.

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 progress is really on Mars,” Hu told the BBC. “It’s a bigger stepping stone, a two-year trip, so it’s going to be really important to learn beyond our Earth orbit.”

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