Washington, June 15: As NASA plans to take humans to the moon by 2024 after the end of the Apollo program, it has now given give the chance to the first female to walk on the surface of the moon. So who is it? Who will take the giant leap for womankind?
The Artemis program, unveiled by NASA in mid-May, aims to put astronauts on the lunar surface in 2024 - and give us the first female moonwalker. The mission foresees a four-member crew, two of whom will walk the Moon.
The initiative comes as the nation prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 1969, which made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first people to set foot on another world.
So, who will she be? No one knows for sure, but it's a likely bet the candidate will be selected from among NASA's current roster of 12 female astronauts.
They're aged between 40 and 53, and are former military pilots, medical doctors and scientists who were picked from among thousands of applicants since the late 1990s.
When was the last time?
The last time humans left low Earth orbit was 1972, when the last Apollo astronauts returned from the moon.
After that, political interest in sending humans into deep space waned, and funding for such missions dried up. So NASA turned to projects in Earth's orbit, notably the space shuttle and the International Space Station.