NASA is planning to return astronauts to the Moon in the next five years. The agency says it'll be sending astronauts back to the moon in the second half of 2024.
The new deadline gives NASA more time to finish projects like Orion, which launches a test flight next year, and to design space suits for the lunar surface.
First, NASA will send a suite of new science instruments and technology demonstrations to the Moon on commercial landers. Following the 2024 crew landing, NASA will send astronauts to the Moon about once per year thereafter and establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028.
Once they gain experience testing new systems on the moon, like NASA’s Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft, Gateway, and human landers, NASA will aim for the next giant leap, sending astronauts to Mars.
NASA has been under pressure for another moon landing since Vice President Pence announced a five-year deadline earlier this month.