That prediction went unfulfilled as NASA shifted its attention closer to home, building the space shuttles and then the football field-sized International Space Station , which has been continuously occupied since Previous presidential administrations tried but ultimately failed to send astronauts back to the moon, but NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says this time will be different.
Over the next decade, NASA wants these commercial firms to help build a privately owned fleet of rockets and spacecraft that can transport anything from science instruments to rovers to astronauts. Though commercial flights could start as early as , NASA has yet to decide what the initial payloads will be, and is asking the aerospace industry and scientific community for input. One common suggestion is a series of missions to investigate ice in permanently shadowed craters near the moon's poles.
Lunar ice could be mined and converted to air, water and even rocket fuel — key resources necessary for humans to live permanently on the moon. There's just one problem: Scientists know the ice is there, but they aren't sure how much. New NASA-sponsored missions could scout for the ice , paving the way for private companies to mine it.
Why Apollo 10 Stopped Just 47, Feet From the Moon - Neatorama
Atkinson co-authored a study sponsored by Colorado-based rocket company United Launch Alliance that explores ways to mine water on the moon. The report includes a proposal to reflect sunlight into icy craters with large mirrors, turning it into water vapor and capturing it in large domes. While robots are exploring the lunar surface, NASA aims to send astronauts on a trip around the moon in Orion, which carries four astronauts, measures 16 feet at its widest point and is equipped with a power and propulsion module built by the European Space Agency.
In , another Orion crew would begin building a moon-orbiting space station called the Gateway. The Gateway isn't so much a permanent outpost as a downsized version of the International Space Station, with up to seven modules, according to current NASA concepts.
Only 12 Americans have ever set foot on the moon, here’s what they thought of it
It could serve as a fuel depot and a waypoint for crewed missions to the surface. Those crewed missions would happen on bigger and more capable landers starting in , according to NASA. When that word came, the waiting back on Earth was just beginning.
The day man came to the moon was a warm, lazy day in much of the United States — a typical Sunday in July with one tremendous difference, the exhilaration of knowing that two Americans had gone where no man had ever set foot before. Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to the surface of the moon.
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