Nasa releases official plan to return to the Moon - by 2024!

Last updated at 06:10
An-artist's-concept-of-OSIRIS-REx probe.NASA
An artist's concept of the Artemis spacecraft in orbit around the Moon

Nasa has formally outlined its plans to return to the Moon by 2024.

The trip, which will cost £22 billion ($28 billion), is part of a programme called Artemis.

Nasa will send a man and a woman to the lunar surface in the first landing with humans since 1972 - yep the last time was nearly 50 years ago!

Artemis artworkNASA
Artemis artwork from Nasa
How will astronauts get to the moon?

They will travel in a capsule called Orion, which will launch on a powerful new rocket called SLS.

Earlier this month, Nasa conducted tests to make sure the SLS rocket is ready.

They plan to launch the giant rocket on its first flight next year. This mission, called Artemis 1, will send the new Orion spacecraft on a loop around the Moon without a pilot.

SLS leaves the launchpadNASA
The SLS rocket is on track to make its first flight next year
When was the last time humans went to the Moon?

The last time a person landed on the Moon was in 1972.

The first ever landing was a few years earlier on July 20 1969, when Neil Armstrong, one of the astronauts in Apollo 11, became the first human to walk on the surface of the Moon.

It was one of the most important moments in human history.

Booster testNASA
Nasa have recently been working on tests for booster rockets, which are part of the SLS rocket
Why is the Artemis mission so expensive?

Trips to space aren't cheap and this mission is no different.

The multi-billion dollar programme, relies on US Congress releasing just over $3 billion for building a landing system.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: "The $28bn represents the costs associated for the next four years in the Artemis programme to land on the Moon.

"SLS funding, Orion funding, the human landing system and of course the spacesuits - all of those things that are part of the Artemis programme are included."

But he explained: "The budget request that we have before the House and the Senate right now includes $3.2bn for 2021 for the human landing system. It is critically important that we get that $3.2bn."

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