http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4261522.stm Nasa plans return to Moon by 2020 The US space agency Nasa has announced plans to return to the Moon by 2020. Nasa administrator Michael Griffin said four astronauts would be sent in a new space shuttle, in a project that would cost $100bn. "We will return to the Moon no later than 2020 and extend human presence across the solar system and beyond," Mr Griffin said on Monday. Nasa sent several manned missions to the Moon between 1969 and 1972. A total of 12 astronauts walked on the Moon. The astronauts will travel there in a new spacecraft called the Crew Exploration Vehicle, to be ready by 2012. Different modules could be launched separately into space then joined together for the journey to lunar orbit, as with the Apollo missions. The new missions would use rocket technology used for the space shuttle to cut the costs of development. Dr Griffin said the new rocket would be "very Apollo-like, with updated technology. Think of it as Apollo on steroids." Nasa is charged with implementing the vision for space exploration, laid out in January 2004 by President George W Bush. This vision aims to return humans to the Moon, to use it as a staging point for a manned mission to Mars.