|Space exploration volunteers wanted (The catch? It's a one-way ticket)|
"We're going back to the moon, not for flags and footsteps but for a sustained presence," Olson said. "We're going to use the moon as a stepping stone to Mars and we're going to look at other interesting spots, like asteroids and near-Earth objects, and we're going to look at all the other exciting places to go in this solar system."
Since Kennedy's speech, the US has lost 17 astronauts. Three perished in a fire during early testing for the Apollo programme and 14 died in the wreckage of the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. In 1970, Nasa engineers saved three astronauts when Apollo 13 malfunctioned 200,000 miles from Earth. But no US astronaut has ever suffered the slow oxygen starvation and freeze that would doom a spacecraft lost beyond the Earth's orbit.