As part of the Aurora Exploration Programme, there is a proposed human mission to the Moon in 2024. The astronaut capsule would be launched atop an Ariane 5 rocket.

What is the status of this mission? Is it going to take place? Are they on time? What components have been completed so far?


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I asked Jim Carpenter, lead scientist for ESA on the Luna 27 lander project, about this. He said that although the plans and protocols for Aurora are still in place, it is currently on hold, outside of the Exomars program.

ESA announced the Heracles program a few weeks ago. The winners of that competition will present their plans at the Moon 2020-2030 symposium in December.

infrastructure system for lunar exploration

The subtitle of the symposium is 'A New Era of Human and Robotic Exploration'. ESA's position on human exploration of the Moon is summed up in one of the slides from last year's LEAG meeting:

ESA position on human exploration of the Moon


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