Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

Lunar Outpost

NASA announces plans for moon base

By Jeffrey Rambo | December 5 , 2006
An artist's illustration of a lander for the moon base. (Photo: NASA/John Frassanito and Associates)
An artist's illustration of a lander for the moon base. (Photo: NASA/John Frassanito and Associates)

On Monday, NASA announced big plans to the world. The space agency is planning to return people to the moon—and not just for a quick visit. NASA wants to set up camp.

"We're going for a base on the moon," said Scott Horowitz, NASA's associate administrator for exploration. "It's a very, very big decision."

NASA's goal is to have astronauts return to the moon by around 2020. Four-person crews will start by making short trips to establish the moon base. Each crew will stay for only one week at a time.

Once the outpost begins to take shape, astronauts will stay for up to 180 days. The target date for humans staying permanently on the moon base is 2024. NASA officials said that astronauts will be able to explore the surface of the moon in a lunar vehicle, traveling far from the outpost.

The moon base will probably be built at one of the moon's poles. There is almost always sunlight in these areas—perfect for solar power. NASA is considering the south pole of the moon for its minerals and other useful materials.

"Conditions at the south pole appear to be more moderate and safer," said NASA deputy administrator Shana Dale.

Return to the Moon

In 2004, President George W. Bush announced a new plan for space exploration—to return humans to the moon and, later, send them to Mars.

Bush's plan called for retiring the space-shuttle fleet and bringing U.S. involvement with the International Space Station to a close. Ending these projects will help finance the moon base. Once the base is established, it will be used to prepare for a piloted voyage to Mars.

NASA plans on asking other countries' space agencies to participate. The new space project will return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972.


Critical Thinking Question

Read today's news story, and then answer the following question.

Lunar Outpost

Why do you think a base on the moon is useful to astronauts?

Join a discussion of this question on our bulletin board.


  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Earth & Space Science Grades 2–3

    Earth & Space Science Grades 2–3

    This collection of quality Scholastic titles was hand selected to provide you with the best books at the best prices. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Set Includes:
    • Dirt
    • The Earth
    • Fly Guy Presents Space
    • The Magic School Bus® Inside the Earth
    • The Magic School Bus® Lost in the Solar System
    • Nat Geo Kids: Meteors
    • Nat Geo Kids: Rocks & Minerals
    • Nat Geo Kids: Weather
    • Pluto: Dwarf Planet
    • Solar System

    $36.00 You save: 30%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 2-3
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Earth & Space Science Grades 2–3
    Grades 2-3 $36.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Young Observer: Black Holes

    Young Observer: Black Holes

    by Philip Steele

    How many Earths will fit into the Sun? Which planet may not really be a planet? How do astronauts go to the bathroom? Who spies from space? How fast can a comet travel? In a book packed with informative facts and quizzes, the inquisitive young mind will be challenged to discover the fantastic secrets of outer space.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades 5-6
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Young Observer: Black Holes
    Grades 5-6 $5.21
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from