Lunar Probe Will Restart NASA Exploration of the Moon
NASA’s upcoming robotic mission to the Moon will set some basic signposts for human exploration there far into the future, while giving Earthbound scientists a much better view of the distant past.
Developed by the U.S. space agency’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate as a source of detailed maps for the Moon base already in development, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will join orbiters from China, India and Japan in producing the best look ever at Earth’s natural satellite.
Exploration planners at NASA headquarters here and at the Constellation program office in Houston will use data from the 12-month mapping mission to begin picking a site for the human outpost that is the current U.S. human-exploration goal by 2020.
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