Lunar Outpost: NASA unveils plans for a return to the moon | Science News

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Lunar Outpost: NASA unveils plans for a return to the moon

2:30pm, December 6, 2006

This week, NASA announced that it would begin in 2020 to assemble a human outpost on the moon—most likely at the south pole—and intends to complete the base by 2024. While still sketchy, the plans are the most detailed that the agency has offered since President Bush announced 2 years ago his intention of having astronauts return to the moon as a stepping stone to Mars.

NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale says that after consulting with more than 1,000 scientists and engineers, the agency decided to build a single lunar base rather than land at several sites, the strategy assumed by the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972.

In the new plan, astronauts would begin with weeklong visits that would eventually stretch to 6-month stays, officials said on Dec. 4 at a press

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