NASA's future cargo launcher

NASA's future cargo launcher

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: NASA's future cargo launcher. Computer artwork of the heavy-lift rocket that will be used to carry NASA's future lunar landers into space. Its 2 solid rocket boosters are being jettisoned and its nose cone is falling away, exposing the lander ready for docking with the crew capsule. After docking, 5 space shuttle main engines will propel the spacecraft out of the Earth's orbit. NASA plans to send manned missions to explore the Moon's surface were announced on 19 September 2005. The first mission is scheduled for 2018. The program is predicted to cost $104 billion. The last Moon landing was NASA's Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

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