The news of space-travel has been there for a long time now, and NASA is planning a year-long manned mission to orbit Moon in 2027.
NASA's planning is a part of its preparations to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.
A group of astronauts might spend a year in orbit around the Moon in the late 2020s as part of NASA's plan to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, agency officials said.
The US space agency is building a 'deep-space gateway' around the Moon to test for operations and technology required for NASA's journey to the red planet Mars.
Phase 2 of NASA's current plan to send humans to Mars in the 2030s involves a yearlong crewed mission to validate the Mars vehicle around the moon - Credit: NASA/The Humans to Mars Summit
Eventually, the lunar presence would also serve as a launching point for the spacecraft that will carry humans to Mars, said Greg Williams, deputy associate administrator for policy and plans at NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
HUMANS TO MARS
Deputy associate administrator for policy and plans at NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate Williams also provided a detailed look at the first two phases of NASA's current plan to send humans to Mars at the Humans to Mars Summit in Washington DC.
An outline of NASA's current plan to send humans to cislunar space ahead of sending them to Mars - Credit: NASA/The Humans to Mars Summit
The lunar mission is a year-long mission which will be preceded by at least five mission out of which four of them will be with crews. The missions will deliver hardware such as a crew habitat, Williams said.
'If we could conduct a yearlong crewed mission on this Deep Space Transport in cislunar space, we believe we will know enough that we could then send this thing, crewed, on a 1,000-day mission to the Mars system and back,' Williams was quoted as saying by the Space.com.
Currently, the lunar stages of the plan to get humans to Mars rely heavily on NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to send the necessary payloads and crews to cislunar space - the region between Earth and the Moon.
Phase 1 is scheduled to be carried out between 2018 and 2026.
This would include four crewed flights to cislunar space to deliver four key pieces of infrastructure - a power and propulsion bus, a crew habitat, a logistics module (for science research) and an airlock for other visiting vehicles.
Williams said the facility would also include a robotic arm that could help provide the module with more autonomous functions.
Phase 2 would begin in 2027.
It would start with an un-crewed mission to deliver the Deep Space Transport vehicle to cislunar space, followed by a flight to deliver the one-year crew to the facility.
In the late 2020s, there would be more flights to deliver the supplies necessary for the first human flights to the Mars system in the 2030s, according to Space.com.