Washington, Mar 12: Working with U.S. companies and international partners, NASA will push the boundaries of human exploration forward to the Moon and on to Mars. NASA is working to establish a permanent human presence on the Moon within the next decade to uncover new scientific discoveries and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.
On the budget day, Jim Bridenstine, chief of Agency said, “For the first time in over 10 years, we have money in this budget for a return to the moon with humans, I'm talking human-rated landers, compatible with Gateway, that can go back and forth to the surface of the moon."
He said, Today we rolled out President Trump’s budget request for NASA and I am very happy to tell you that we have strong, bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress. President’Budget 2020 NASA budget is one of the strongest on record for our agency.
Further, he said, “At $21 billion, this budget represents a nearly 6% increase over last year’s budget, a huge vote of confidence for all of the agency’s hard work”.
About this project, Jim Bridenstine stated in last year, he said, “ This time, when we go to the Moon, we're actually going to stay. We're not going to leave flags and footprints and then come home to not go back for another 50 years”.
"We're doing it entirely different than every other country in the world. What we're doing is, we're making it sustainable so you can go back and forth regularly with humans."
The last person to walk on the Moon was Eugene Cernan in December 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.
Before humans set foot on the lunar surface again, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024 and is already inviting bids from the burgeoning private sector to build the probe.
It all starts with delivery services to the lunar surface from U.S. companies for scientific instruments and technology demonstrations as well as a spaceship, called the Gateway, in orbit around the Moon that will support human missions to the surface with reusable lander elements for decades to come. The Gateway will, for the first time, give NASA and its partner's access to more of the lunar surface than ever before, supporting both human and robotic missions. The agency’s powerful Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft will be the backbone to build the Gateway and transport astronauts to and from Earth.
Jim Bridenstine mentions that ‘the gateway isn’t just about getting to the Moon, the Gateway gives us the opportunity to study deep space from a human-tended space station.