NASA Says Humans Will Live And Work On The Moon By 2030

Last week, NASA successfully launched its powerful Space Launch System rocket, which sent the Orion spacecraft on its way to the moon.

"We're going to be sending people down to the surface and they're going to be living on that surface and doing science," Howard Hu, NASA's Orion lunar spacecraft program manager, told the BBC.

The Orion is unmanned this time around, since it's testing its capability to orbit the moon, but it's scheduled to accompany astronauts next time.

Assuming all goes well, the same spacecraft will be used for the first time since 1972 to place humans on the moon's surface, including the first female astronaut.

Currently, the crew plans to land near the south pole of the moon, where they will spend about a week searching for water. If they find the precious liquid, it can be used to fuel rockets for the journey to Mars.

"It's the first step we're taking to long-term deep space exploration, for not just the United States but for the world," Howard told Laura Kuenssberg of the BBC.

"And I think this is an historic day for Nasa, but it's also an historic day for all the people who love human space flight and deep space exploration." He added.

"I mean, we are going back to the Moon, we're working towards a sustainable programme and this is the vehicle that will carry the people that will land us back on the Moon again."

NASA estimates that humans will be able to live and work on the moon by 2030.