NASA says that humans will be living on the moon by the end of the decade. The US Space agency successfully launched its powerful new Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket in November, sending the Orion spacecraft on its way toward the moon.
The launch, which had been repeatedly delayed, set NASA's Artemis missions in motion, the first a major step towards putting humans back on the moon in almost 50 years.
Orion is uncrewed this time around, as it aims to test its ability to bring a capsule to the moon and back. But next time it is expected to take astronauts with it as it circles the celestial body.
The US space agency intends to launch the first manned Lunar landing since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 in late 2024 or early 2025. That will also feature the very first woman and the first person of colour to step foot on the moon.
The current plan is for the crew to land near the moon's south pole, where they will spend about a week looking for signs of water. If the precious liquid is found, it could be used to help fuel rockets on their way to Mars.
This would mean permanent human settlements would need to be built to support mining and scientific activities.
All of this is being done with the ultimate goal of trying to provide the foundation for life in space.