NASA recently announced that it needs $28 billion to return astronauts to the Moon in 2024. Only $16 billion would be spent on the lunar landing module.
Congress, which faces new elections on November 3, will have to approve the financing for such a project considered a top priority by President Donald Trump. The $28 billion budget would cover the period 2021-25. Here is what you need to know.
Money For Moon
In a recent interview with journalists about the Artemis mission to return human beings to the Moon, Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, stated that “political risks” were sometimes the biggest threat to NASA’s work, especially before elections. The upcoming election is said to be crucial for the fate of the US.
Barack Obama canceled back in the day all the plans for a crewed Mars mission after his predecessor gave billions of dollars for the project. So, should we except this time around to be different?
If Congress approves the first trance of only $3,2 billion by December 2020, Bridenstine explained: “we’re still on track for a 2024 moon landing.”
What to Expect
Three other projects, however, are in competition to develop the lunar lander that will send two astronauts – one of them a woman – to the Moon from their vessel dubbed Orion.
The first part of the project is being developed by Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, in partnership with Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Draper. As for the other two projects, they’re being undertaken by SpaceX and Dynetics.
The first flight, Artemis I, is set for November 2021, and it will be uncrewed. The newest massive rocket SLS, now in its test stage, will take off for the first time with the Orion capsule.
Next is Artemis II, scheduled to take astronauts around the Moon, but won’t land, in 2023. And finally, Artemis III that will be the equivalent of Apollo 11 from 1969. The time spent on the Moon will be longer (a week).
More information should be released in the coming months.
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