NASA officials anticipate that humans will be living on the moon by 2030, following the successful launch of the Artemis rocket last week.
According to a report from The Guardian, Howard Hu, who is the head of the US agency's Orion lunar spacecraft programme, "said humans could be active on the moon for 'durations' before 2030, with habitats to live in and rovers to support their work."
Hu went on to say, "Certainly, in this decade, we are going to have people living for durations, depending on how long we will be on the surface." They will have habitats, and they will have rovers on the ground. We are going to be sending people down to the surface, and they are going to be living on that surface and doing science," he told the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme.
Last week, Orion was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida after getting delayed several times. Hu regarded the launch of the Orion-carrying Artemis rocket as a 'historic day' in human space flight.
According to Howard Hu, the goal was to have people living on the moon 'in this decade' after the components and systems of Artemis have been thoroughly examined and found to be safe.
"We're going to be sending people down to the surface, and they're going to be living on that surface and doing science," Hu further continued.
The Artemis programme is regarded as crucial for the development of the moon because it might be used to build a space station where future astronauts could live on the surface of the moon. The Orion spacecraft will hit the planet on December 11 and splash down in the Pacific Ocean. On its 25-day journey to the moon, this spacecraft is estimated to have covered 1.3m miles.