NASA has announced that it plans to land the first woman on the moon in 2024.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the organization’s $28 billion plan aims to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972.
“We’re going back to the moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers,” Bridenstine said in a statement.
He also said that it will help with future plans to send the first humans to Mars.
Before the 2024 mission, NASA will send two test flights around the moon. The first, called Artemis I, will travel around the moon without a crew in 2021. The second — Artemis II — will take a crew around the moon in 2023.
Artemis III will then land two people on the moon in 2024. They will spend a week there collecting soil and rocks, searching for water and doing experiments.
The crew will travel to the moon in an Orion spacecraft, which will use NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, to get into space.
NASA does not yet have a vehicle to carry the crew from Orion to the surface of the moon, but three companies are competing to develop one for the mission.
Only 12 people have ever walked on the moon, and all were Americans. Neil Armstrong became the first person to step on the moon on July 20, 1969. The last was Eugene Cernan, who left the moon on December 14, 1972.