Science

NASA executive quits weeks after appointment to lead 2024 moon landing plan

NASA executive quits weeks after appointment to lead 2024 moon landing plan”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will make a significant announcement about the Artemis programs lunar exploration plans at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 23, at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Most importantly - and urgently - Sirangelo was responsible for developing a strategy to meet Vice President Mike Pence's increasingly implausible 2024 deadline for Americans' return to the moon - and his departure suggests that NASA still doesn't have a workable plan in place to get there.

NASA has picked space technology company Maxar Technologies Inc as the first contractor to help build its Gateway platform in lunar orbit, a crucial outpost for America's mission to relay astronauts to the moon in 2024, the US agency said on Thursday.

According to Bridenstine, Sirangelo left partly because lawmakers rejected NASA's proposal to set up a directorate within the agency that would have focused on a sustainable lunar campaign and future missions to Mars.

Maxar plans to launch the power and propulsion element aboard a commercial rocket by late 2022.

"Overall, this study advances our understanding on the origin of water as detected on the Moon and other airless bodies in our Solar System such as Mercury and asteroids and provides, for the first time, a scientifically sound and proven mechanism of water formation", Jeffrey Gillis-Davis of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, which participated in the study, said in announcing the findings. In 2024, astronauts will stop there en route to the Moon.

A part of the lander will remain on the Moon while the other part will take off and allow the astronauts to return to their station, where they will board the Orion capsule and return to Earth.

In the coming months, NASA will have to decide on who will build the lander. NASA will not specify it in every detail but instead will buy it as a service, Bridenstine said. "The goal here is speed".

While the power and propulsion unit will launch in 2022, it's just the first component of the Lunar Gateway station NASA intends to construct. "2024 is right around the corner".



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