US to send manned flight to the moon by 2018: report - Yahoo! News
(AFP) - The United States plans to send four astronauts to the Moon by 2018, as a first step toward an eventual mission to Mars, according to NASA documents published by a US newspaper.
The plan also foresees crews building a lunar outpost, complete with living quarters and a power plant, and scavenge the desolate landscape for fuel and water aboard high-tech dune buggies, the Orlando Sentinel daily said.
The space travellers would blast off on rockets derived from the space shuttle, but would parachute back to Earth in capsules similar to those used in the Apollo program that landed the first man on the Moon.
The Moon missions would be a precursor to 500-day expeditions on Mars, the paper said, citing a study that it said would be made public next month.