With two currently functioning orbiters, and five more missions planned in the next year, Earth's Moon may soon have seven active probes operated by five nations, with even more coming soon. NASA's plans to return humans to the Moon by 2020 are moving steadily ahead, with some concrete prototypes and initial designs beginning to emerge. Called the Constellation Program, NASA's vision involves new and upgraded launch vehicles, exploration vehicles, autonomous rovers, new spacesuits, crew and cargo vehicles, and much more. Here are seven photographs of our possible future on the Moon, and a look back, with ten images from our last visits with the Apollo missions, more than 36 years ago now.
Looking Forward -- Spacesuit engineer Dustin Gohmert drives NASA's new lunar truck prototype through the moon-like craters of
Nched module of the International Space Station (ISS). The module Zarya was lifted into orbit on
In December 1998, the crew of Space Shuttle Mission STS-88 began construction of the International Space Station - Astronaut James Newman is seen here making final connections the U.S.-built Unity node to the Russian-built Zarya module. The crew carried a large-format IMAX camera from which this picture was taken. (NASA)