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European Space Agency finalises plans to ‘explore the moon properly’

Ambitious series of joint missions aims to construct a crewed space station that will orbit the moon

European space officials will this week unveil detailed plans for a series of ambitious missions aimed at returning humans to the moon in the next few years.

Projects will include construction of crew quarters for an orbiting lunar space station, making the power and propulsion units for America’s Orion spacecraft, and designing and building a sophisticated communication and refuelling unit, known as Esprit, to serve astronauts on the lunar surface. These missions will be carried out jointly with Nasa and the Japanese and Canadian space agencies.

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