The Moon. Credit: NASA

While NASA and United States President Barack Obama may only have Mars on mind, other countries are choosing to explore the Moon instead.

According to an article in Ars Technica, China and Russia have joined the European Space Agency and intend to take lessons learned from the International Space Station and join with other interested parties in heading back to the lunar surface by the end of the next decade.

They’re among an array international space groups that have set their sights on the Moon because, according to the article, it is close, has many potential resources from water to rare minerals, and because it offers an attainable goal.

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