In 2006, NASA released a plan to begin traveling to the moon again by 2020, with lunar residency missions beginning in 30-day increments in 2024 and moving to six-month missions by 2025. Since then, NASA has released further projections anticipating private residential missions as early as 2020.
NASA based its prediction on the eagerness of private ventures to research and fund space travel and the necessary life-support systems for interstellar residency. According to the report, at least 20 private companies and non-U.S. space programs could be expected to participate in the missions. The agency has begun experimenting with inflatable living facilities.