01 May, 2016
The European Space Agency plans to build a base on the Moon. The agency said it would like a "Moon village" to be in working order in 20 years.
Johann-Dietrich Woerner is the director general of the European Space Agency. He said building a permanent base on the Moon is a "stepping stone" and a "test bed" for a visit to Mars.
The American space agency, NASA, has set a goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030s.
"I think we should go first to the Moon and then further on," Woerner said. The effort to set up the Moon base is expected to be a collaborative one among countries that have or are developing space programs. That would include the United States, Russia, China and India.
Woerner said the village would be used for scientific experiments. He added the Moon's minerals and other resources would be used to build and maintain the base.
It has been more than 50 years since men visited the Moon. Apollo 17 commander Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the Earth's only natural satellite on December 14, 1972.
I'm Mario Ritter.
The staff at VOA News wrote this story. Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English and VOANews. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story
collaborative –adj. involving two or more people or groups working together to reach a goal
maintain – v. to keep something in good condition by making repairs or correcting problems