NASA says U.S. in August will send rocket back to the moon for the first time since 1972

Space agency is aiming to have manned missions to the moon in near future.

Updated: July 21, 2022 - 4:45pm

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NASA this week announced that it would be sending a rocket back to the moon next month, the first time the agency has sent spacecraft to the Earth’s satellite since the early 1970s.

NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free made the announcement to press on Jul. 20, the 53rd anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. 

"It's a special day, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing 53 years ago. It's really great to talk about this test flight to begin our Artemis program to go back to the moon,” Free said. 

The space agency says on its website that the Artemis 1 craft “will be an uncrewed flight test that will provide a foundation for human exploration in deep space and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and eventually Mars.”

The space agency called Artemis 1 “the first in a series of increasingly complex missions.”

The last humans to visit the moon were the astronauts of the Apollo 17 program, who visited the lunar surface in December of 1973. 

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