NASA estimates that humans will be living on the moon within 10 years

This statement comes after the launch of the Orion spacecraft towards the Moon as part of the Artemis mission. The goal is to establish a lasting human presence there, starting with that of scientists.

NASA estimates that humans will be living on the moon for the next decade, the US space agency told the BBC on Saturday.

The Return of Humans to the Moon

Howard Hu, director of the Orion lunar space program for NASA, explained in this same interview that habitats on the Moon were going to be necessary in the years to come to allow scientists to carry out their missions.

This statement comes a few days after the successful liftoff of the Orion spacecraft, en route to the Moon after taking off from Florida, United States, as part of the Artemis mission.

The capsule will not land on the Moon but will venture up to 64,000 km behind it, a record for a habitable spacecraft.

This first test flight, without crew on board, must first serve to ensure that the vehicle is safe. But the long-term goal is to take astronauts to the Moon with this capsule in the next few years. This would be a first since the last Apollo mission in 1972. The goal is to establish a lasting human presence there.

“A first step” in deep space exploration

Howard Hu hailed the success of this launch, referring to a “historic day for manned spaceflight”, when the capsule was already about 134,000 km from the Moon on Saturday.

“This is the first step we are taking toward long-term deep space exploration, not just for the United States, but for the world,” he said.

The success of this mission depends on the future of Artemis 2, which will take astronauts around the Moon without landing, then Artemis 3, which will finally mark the return of humans to the lunar surface. These missions are officially scheduled to take place in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

This summer, the first take-off attempt was canceled at the last moment due to a faulty sensor, and the second due to an uncontrolled hydrogen leak.

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