Europe joins new space race with a mission to the Moon
Europe is to launch a spacecraft to the Moon as it seeks to become a contender in the new space race that has taken off 50 years after the US lunar mission.
The Paris-based European Space Agency (ESA) is to land a robotic rover on the lunar surface, but says it will eventually send manned missions.
The ESA is working with the Canadian and Japanese space agencies to prepare its Heracles Moon mission in the mid to late 2020s. It has focused on the scientific side of space exploration since it was founded by 22 European countries in 1975.