c|net - NASA announced plans on Monday for a permanent base on the moon, to be started soon after astronauts return there around 2020. The agency's deputy administrator, Shana Dale, said the United States would develop rockets and spacecraft to get people to the moon and establish a rudimentary base. There, other countries and commercial enterprises could expand the outpost to develop scientific and other interests, Dale said. Dale and other officials of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the agency envisioned a base at one of the lunar poles, to take advantage of the near-constant sunlight for solar power generation. It would have an "open architecture" design to which others could add the capabilities they want. Scott Horowitz, NASA's associate administrator for exploration, said crews of four astronauts would make weeklong missions to the moon starting around 2020.
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