NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lunar exploration. Artwork of astronauts preparing to board a lunar rover during a mission to the Moon. The lunar lander they arrived in is at upper left. The astronauts are part of NASA's Constellation Program, a US space program announced in 2004, which is intended to put astronauts back on the Moon by 2020. The Moon is an airless rocky world, with a gravity about a sixth of that of Earth. By going to the Moon, astronauts will be able to search for mineral, water, and fuel resources, and learn how to work safely in a harsh environment, preparing for later missions to Mars. Studies of Moon rock will provide evidence for theories about planetary formation in the early solar system.
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