A return to the moon within the next two decades is part of the recently updated Global Exploration Roadmap _ a far-reaching plan developed by more than a dozen space agencies.
An early phase of the plan would put a new space station into orbit around the moon, and use it as a staging point to ferry astronauts back and forth.
It's part of a roadmap that lays out human and robotic missions in the solar system over the next 25 years, with the other components including a moon settlement and a proposal by
There would be human missions in the lunar vicinity and on its surface until 2030, at which point sights would be set on the red planet.
"You need to master how to land on a planet _ and the moon can be a test bed for that and how to live on the surface for a long time," said Piedboeuf, who noted that
The CSA official suggested astronauts could again be moon-bound in about 15 years. It would be the first human visit to the shining orb since 1972, when
This time, there could well be Canadian visitors.
Their specialty: robotics.
"We're proposing a vision where
"We can foresee in the future doing the same type of thing on the moon, with the Canadian industry building a rover _ and a Canadian astronaut could be the operator of this rover."
The first stop on the pathway to Mars _ the
"For the next 10 years, we can expect that human space flight will still be in an Earth orbit," Piedboeuf told
"But then, starting maybe in 2025 _ that's really a guess because there's a lot of work _ then we can start thinking about human orbit around the moon and basically doing some activity there, then starting back on the surface of the moon."
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