Exact crew still unclear: ESA wants to send the first Europeans to the moon

So far not a single European astronaut has set foot on the moon.

Exact crew still unclear: ESA wants to send the first Europeans to the moon

So far not a single European astronaut has set foot on the moon. However, a mission by the European Space Agency ESA in cooperation with the US space agency NASA could soon make this possible. Perhaps in this decade, ESA Director Aschbacher hopes.

European astronauts should soon be a little closer to a mission to the moon. Three astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA) can fly to the planned "Gateway" outpost, which is supposed to orbit the moon. This was announced by the Paris-based EAA in relation to cooperation with the US space agency NASA. The astronauts should therefore get there on board the "Orion" capsule.

According to the announcement, the US-European cooperation also paves the way for a first European astronaut on the moon itself. NASA boss Bill Nelson said: "We look forward to having an ESA astronaut join us on the lunar surface." NASA is working with ESA to advance lunar exploration with the Artemis mission. In a press conference, he said that the exact occupancy of the capsules had not yet been determined.

ESA director Josef Aschbacher repeated his wish to see a European astronaut on the moon before the end of this decade. Europe plays an essential role in getting humans back on the moon, he stressed. "It's an exhilarating feeling to know that our modules are designed for not just one, but multiple lunar trips by the end of this decade."

With the "Artemis" mission, US astronauts were supposed to land on the moon again by 2024, including a woman for the first time. This is now planned for 2025 at the earliest. ESA is also involved in the mission and is supplying an important component of the "Orion" spacecraft with the European service module.

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