It’s been almost two months since Vice President Mike Pence announced that NASA will be going back to the Moon, and over this period of time, NASA engineers have been working hard to come up with plans for the endeavor. NASA subsequently announced on Twitter that the plan is more than just visiting the Moon: they’ll be building infrastructure there as well in order to support future missions to Mars and beyond. Now, Ars Technica‘s senior space editor, Eric Berger, has revealed a comprehensive graphic detailing NASA’s plans leading up to 2024, and further.
The 10-year-plan will involve 37 launches of both NASA and private rockets, aiming for a human landing on the Moon again in 2024. Thereafter, there’ll be annual space missions to the Moon until 2028, where NASA will commence its construction of a lunar base for long-duration crew stays. The graphic also outlines an array of other information such as the major launches needed to build a Lunar Gateway or refueling missions for the future outpost.
The senior space editor also pointed out in his entry that three of the biggest hurdles the plan is facing include funding, over-reliance on contractors, and the need to develop a stronger Space Launch rocket to make the return trip. For now, no price tag has been put on NASA’s plan, speculation being that a large cost may draw negative sentiments toward the government-backed space exploration project.