When the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon, the US space agency NASA said it had doubled its next giant leap with the Artemis program that would take the "first woman and the next man" to the moon's surface.
"Artemis" is named after the twin sister of Apollo, who is also the Goddess of the Moon and the hunt.
"Artemis will pave our way to Mars." Artemis's new identity draws bold inspiration from Apollo's program and builds his own way, showing how he will pursue the lunar exploration as never before and pave the way for Mars, "says a statement NASA.
Astronauts would explore areas of the moon that had never been visited before, unlocking the secrets of the universe, and testing the technology that would extend the boundaries of mankind further into the solar system.
"On the moon surface we will pursue water, ice, and other natural resources that will further allow deep space travel." From the moon humanity will take the next giant leap to Mars, "said the agency.
The return of astronauts to the moon in 2024 could cost about $ 30 billion, or roughly the same price as Apollo 11's space flight in inflation.
The total value of the Apollo program, which the United States launched in 1961 and concluded in 1972, was $ 25 billion.
The culmination of this program came almost 50 years ago when two astronauts landed on the moon as part of the mission of Apollo 11, which cost $ 6 billion at that time, equivalent to 30 billion today.
According to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenton, the main difference between Apollo and Artemis is that the first one ends with brief moon stops, while the latter will result in a constant presence of people there.
The plan will include recruiting private companies and international partners, building a lunar space station and landing pilots at the South Pole of the moon within five years.
The program includes an unmanned mission around the moon in 2020 and a piloted mission that will also tour the moon two years later.
The next lunar missions will be delivered to the Space Launch System, a rocket developed by NASA and Boeing, which will be the largest ever built after being fully assembled.
This rocket will send in space a new spacecraft, known as Orion, whose main contractor is Lockheed Martin.
The five missions between 2022 and 2024 will be run by private companies, according to NASA's plans.