As part of the National Geographic's Space issue, we have an exclusive sneak peek showing how far we've come since the first lunar landing decades ago.
The famous quote, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," was 54 years ago. Now, NASA may have just taken one baby step toward the dream of a human colony in space.
Scientists are now able to get a closer look at the mysterious and unexplored lunar south pole region, spotting potential landing sites for NASA's planned 2025 Artemis 3 mission, putting the first woman and person of color on the moon
"Initially, we'll be sending four astronauts to the moon," said NASA Chief Exploration Scientist Jacob Bleacher. "And two of those astronauts will stay in orbit while to go down to the surface of the moon. This is kind of opening the door to possibility to send more people and to stay longer on the surface of the moon."
In unprecedented detail, the National Geographic exclusive photo in this month's magazine employed the cutting-edge ShadowCam, a lunar instrument able to shoot in extremely low light. Or, in this case, the dark side of the moon
Scientists are hoping to find ice deposits in areas that could potentially support long term stays on the moon if that ice can provide water
"Some of these ices, if they are present in these craters, could serve as a resource to help us as we explore the rest of the moon and the solar system in general," Bleacher said. "This is how we learn to survive in space and explore the solar system around us."
Learn about NASA's innovations since the first lunar landing by visiting natgeo.com.