Thursday, 25 April, 2019

President Donald J. Trump Is Boldly Putting Americans Back on the Moon

NASA Administrator vows agency will achieve 2024 Moon goal NASA Administrator vows agency will achieve 2024 Moon goal
Cary Marshall | 30 March, 2019, 03:29

He said the United States was engaged in a present-day "space race" under Trump, this time against China, just as the country was in the 1960s under President John F. Kennedy against the Soviet Union. Nasa had already been planning to return to the Moon, but Mr Pence's announcement accelerates the timeline. Other special guests included Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Alabama Speaker of the House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

It is "the stated policy of this administration" to return American astronauts to the moon "within the next five years", said Pence at a meeting of the National Space Council, which he chairs.

Now, the earliest possible landing on the moon by NASA isn't until 2028, Pence said.

Moving the deadline up would require a "major course correction for NASA", said Pence.

"In order to accomplish this, Nasa must transform itself into a leaner, more accountable and more agile organisation". "Rockets like the SLS can carry large payloads, humans and have the propulsion we need to move all of those elements over great distances in space", said Bigelow.

"Challenge accepted. Now let's get to work", he wrote on Twitter.

More news: More than a dozen killed in Guatemala as truck ploughs into crowd

So, it is now the official policy of the U.S. to return astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2024, the vice president stressed, invoking a 21st-century space race with China and Russian Federation. Crucial to the lunar plans will be a heavy-lift rocket that can loft the massive hardware required for a lunar journey and landing.

With a view to delays in the development of the new rocket, the SLS (Space Launch System) had accused the Vice-President of Nasa in his speech, lack of commitment and bureaucratic inertia. It was unacceptable, Pence said, that SLS delays and cost overruns point to a 2028 target date - almost two decades after the SLS program began.

"If commercial rockets are the only way to get American astronauts to the Moon in the next five years, then commercial rockets it will be", he said. The Orion capsule, built by Lockheed Martin, will be the main spacecraft for transferring astronauts to lunar orbit. The president's proposed NASA budget includes cuts to scientific programs like the WFIRST telescope and NASA's Office of STEM Engagement, but does offer over $300 million in funding for developing a lunar lander.

He threatened to use commercial launch systems if Nasa is not ready in time.

"To be clear, we're not committed to anyone's contract".

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