via Esquire Humans haven't set foot on on the surface of the Moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. Well, NASA intends to do something about that. There was a Space Policy Directive signed by The President nearly a year ago. That directive tasked NASA with leading "an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities."
Furthermore, a five-step plan has been put in place by NASA to get us back on the Moon to set up a sustainable base, of sorts. In short, it breaks down like this:
The Exploration Campaign five strategic goals:
- Transition U.S. human spaceflight activities in low-Earth orbit to commercial operations that support NASA and the needs of an emerging private sector market.
- Lead the emplacement of capabilities that support lunar surface operations and facilitate missions beyond cislunar space.
- Foster scientific discovery and characterization of lunar resources through a series of robotic missions.
- Return U.S. astronauts to the surface of the Moon for a sustained campaign of exploration and use.
- Demonstrate the capabilities required for human missions to Mars and other destinations
So like me you're probably asking the question: this is all sounds great, but WHEN?
The answer is the Exploration Campaign anticipates Americans to orbit the Moon starting in 2023, and land astronauts on the surface no later than the late 2020s. This will be the first chance for the majority of people alive today to witness a Moon landing. Get more details HERE.