Science

US Vice President Outlines Ambitious Return to the Moon

US Vice President Outlines Ambitious Return to the Moon”

Speaking at a meeting at the National Space Council on Tuesday, vice president Mike Pence said the administration he is part of wants American boots on the Moon four years earlier, in 2024.

"It is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return astronauts to the moon within the next five years", he said.

"Let me be clear, the first woman and the next man on the Moon will both be American astronauts launched by American rockets from American soil", he said. Nasa's chief, Jim Bridenstine, recently said a woman would undoubtedly be the first human to set foot on the Moon since 1972, the last time there was a manned mission to the Moon. With the growing space ambitions of other countries and the private sector, however, the U.S. administration wants to show that it is also continuing to work and develop.

Pence called for a "major course correction" for NASA and reigniting a "spark of urgency", pointing out it was in the 1960s when the United States became the first nation to reach the moon.

NASA seems to have quickly embraced the administration's idea.

- NASA will create a Moon-to-Mars Mission Directorate and make all necessary efforts to achieve Exploration Mission-1, a foundational uncrewed mission around the Moon.

When SLS eventually launches, it will be from the Kennedy Space Center.

The International Space Station, with a crew of six onboard, is seen in silhouette as it transits the Moon at roughly five miles per second, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Donald Trump threw NASA for a loop shortly after taking office when he directed them to find a way to get humans back on the Moon. But the project has been hit by delays and cost overruns. "If our current contractors can't meet this objective, then we will find ones that will", Mr Pence said. But over the past few years, the craving of going back up there returned. The query stands as to what it will imply for the way forward for NASA, and what else will probably be de-funded to return people to the Moon. "NASA technologically could do this, it all comes down to budget and political will".

Also on the All Points leadership team in Huntsville is Senior Vice President of BD for Capture John Hall, a native of North Alabama with 30 years in Aerospace and Defense; and Kurt Weidenthal, a retired U.S. Army Colonel who has made his home in the Huntsville area since 2005.



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