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Manned spacecraft in lunar orbit

Manned spacecraft in lunar orbit

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lunar orbit. Computer artwork of the spacecraft that will carry 4 NASA astronauts to the Moon, in lunar orbit. The crew are in a capsule (left) attached to the lunar lander. All four astronauts will enter the lunar lander and descend to the Moon, leaving the spacecraft to wait for them in orbit. The astronauts will be able to remain on the Moon for between 4-7 days and will begin to establish a lunar outpost that will eventually allow journeys to Mars and beyond. NASA's 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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