NASA, ESA to Collaborate for a Historic Moon Mission
The two most prominent space agencies in the world, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), will collaborate for another historic mission to the moon.
Recent reports say that ESA is willing to lend a hand to help NASA in its future missions to the moon. The premiere U.S. space agency is currently working on projects that aim to take humans again to the moon. The mission is likely to take place in the next few years as NASA is still working on transportation capsules that will take astronauts to the Earth's satellite.
After the famous moon landing in 1969, the feat wasn't repeated again despite the technological and scientific advancement. Experts say it is time to finally go back to the moon and explore further the Earth's space companion.
"We are excited to be a part of this historic mission and appreciate NASA's trust in us to help extend humanity's exploration farther afield into our Solar System," ESA's director of human spaceflight said in a statement.
ESA is already working with NASA on other projects including the Orion space crew, but they specifically expressed their intent to work with NASA on the moon project. ESA already managed to deliver a vital propulsion module for the 2018 unmanned Orion flight, according to Phys.org.
The same report stated that ESA confirmed last Wednesday that the agency will deliver another module for the second Orion flight. The flight slated to launch in 2021 will carry a team of astronauts around the moon, according to NDTV.
If the moon mission partnership between ESA and NASA becomes a success, it will also indicate the start of deep space exploration programs since the Orion spacecraft is also being developed to take astronauts in manned missions to Mars and beyond.
ESA will be working with Airbus to create the modules for the unmanned 2018 moon mission and the manned moon orbit mission in 2021.