PARIS: The European Space Agency and Nasa on Wednesday talked up the prospect of putting the first European on the Moon, as they signed a deal strengthening collaboration for future lunar exploration.
The space agencies had already agreed that three European astronauts would fly on the Orion spacecraft to Nasa’s Gateway, a space station that will orbit the Moon as part of the Artemis programme.
Now it seems one of
those astronauts will go a step further.
“We look forward to having an ESA astronaut join us on the surface of the Moon and continuing to build on our longstanding, critical partnership,” Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson said after attending an ESA council meeting in the Netherlands.
“Nasa is counting on cooperation with ESA to propel exploration of the Moon through the Artemis programme,” Nelson said in a statement, adding that “the European Service Module is the powerhouse of the Orion spacecraft”. — AFP