NASA’s new space program builds on legacy of Apollo

New space program builds on legacy of Apollo

HOUSTON, Texas (KLTV) - Saturday marks 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the moon and into the history books.

The brief 21-hours stay was the first of a half-dozen successful lunar missions over the next three years.

Now, NASA is planning to launch the next man and first woman to the moon’s south pole by 2024.

This weekend's lunar jubilee will play a big role in NASA’s plans to return to the moon and eventually visit Mars.

Visitors to Space Center Houston will get an up-close look at the new technology built on the backbone of the Apollo program.

The Artemis program will launch astronauts in the new Orion spacecraft, a larger version of the crew capsule used in the Apollo missions.

It’s part of the space launch system, or SLS, which will be the most powerful rocket ever built. An unmanned launch is set for next year. And in 2022, U.S. astronauts will circle the moon on the Artemis 2 mission.

NASA is eager to demonstrate how America’s future in deep space relies on a legacy a half-century in the making.

Exhibits at Space Center Houston detail the living conditions aboard the International Space Station and the science conducted in low Earth orbit. Visitors can also explore a large interactive zone dedicated to future explorations of Mars.

Space Center Houston is open daily.

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