NASA Planning to Land First American Woman on the Moon by 2024

Federico Mansilla
May 15, 2019

President Trump announced Monday that he is adding $1.6 billion to NASA's budget "so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!".

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the extra money for the moon mission would come from surplus funding for Pell grants, the financial aid program for low-income college students.

Over the last several hundred million years, Nasa scientists have found the moon has reduced its size by 50 metres due to a cooling interior, and it is still tectonically active.

The increased funding request, announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter, comes almost two months after Vice President Mike Pence declared the objective of shortening by four years NASA's previous timeline for putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972.

Mark Sirangelo, a special assistant to Bridenstine focusing on lunar missions, emphasized that "we're going to try to make this nonpartisan ... from the start".

Bridenstine said that NASA's timeline for the lunar mission had been sped up with a Mars mission in mind.

A mid-5th century B.C. vase depicting the Greek god Apollo (at left) with his twin sister Artemis.

The first men to walk on the Moon did so under the Apollo missions between 1960 and 1972.

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"It's really remarkable to see how data from almost 50 years ago and from the [orbiter] mission has been combined to advance our understanding of the Moon while suggesting where future missions intent on studying the Moon's interior processes should go", said John Keller in a statement, study author and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Those components include both a power and propulsion module and a small habitat module.

But that will change in 2024 when NASA sends the first woman to the lunar surface. These funds would be needed to design and build a lunar lander, accelerate the Space Launch System rocket so that it can perform three launches by then, design new spacesuits, build elements of the Lunar Gateway, and for related programs.

The name has also been used for a European communications satellite (retired in 2017) and was the fictional title given to the first city on the moon in author Andy Weir's ("The Martian") 2017 science fiction novel "Artemis."

Vice President Mike Pence recently revealed the new deadline during a speech at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council in Huntsville, Alabama, where he told an audience that the president wants astronauts to touch down on the lunar south pole by 2024. That expense will be partially offset by slimming down the Gateway platform, saving $321 million, NASA said.

"This additional investment is a down payment on NASA's effort to land humans on the moon by 2024", Bridenstine said in a call with reporters Monday evening. In addition to being the goddess of the moon, Artemis was also the goddess of the hunt, with Orion her hunting companion.

"We need to learn how to live and work on another world", Bridenstine said. That's why the moon is so valuable.

NASA hopes that more exploration of the moon will help the United States establish a strategic presence in space and grow their worldwide partnerships. "You'll see a series of flights in that period between 2024 and '28", he said.

In March, Vice President Mike Pence prepared the ground to speed up a lunar landing mission, telling the National Space Council that the USA will return astronauts to the moon within five years "by any means necessary", and that "mission success will require more than just money".

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