NASA presents $ 28 billion plan for the first woman on the moon in 2024

The mission would mark the first time since 1972 that humans have touched the lunar surface.

NASA has shared its $ 28 billion plan for the Artemis program, which is designed to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.

The Artemis plan, if successful, would put the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024. The mission would mark the first time since 1972 that humans have touched the lunar surface.

“With bipartisan support from Congress, our 21st century push to the moon is well within America’s reach,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. declaration. “As we have further consolidated our exploration plans over the past few months, we have continued to refine our budget and our architecture. We return to the Moon for scientific discoveries, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers. As we build a lasting presence, we also create momentum towards those first human steps on the Red Planet. “

NASA’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System, and the Orion spacecraft are about to launch for the first time, and their main stage and four attached engines are undergoing a final round of testing.

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After a hot fire test, scheduled for this fall, the main stage will head to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for further testing. The plan includes two test flights around the moon, an unmanned mission named Artemis I in 2021, and a crewed mission named Artemis II in 2023.

Artemis III will then mark the return of humans to the moon with astronauts landing on the lunar South Pole. Astronauts will spend about a week on the lunar surface collecting samples, conducting experiments and researching resources, according to NASA’s plan. Modern space suits will allow astronauts to move with greater flexibility than what Apollo astronauts had, which will have been nearly 50 years earlier in 2024.

NASA is also working on the development of an Artemis base camp “to support longer lunar surface expeditions” and to prepare for human exploration of Mars. The elements of the camp would include a lunar terrain vehicle, a habitable mobility platform, a lunar habitation module and power systems, among others.

To prepare for these missions, NASA said it was using commercial delivery services to send new science and technology demonstrations to the moon twice a year starting in 2021.

NASA is requesting $ 28 billion for the “phase 1” portion of the program through fiscal 2025. The request includes $ 7.6 billion for the launch system rockets, $ 16 billion for the “rocket launch system”. ‘initial human landing’, $ 518 million for moon suits and $ 552 million for “surface logistics”.

Troy M. Hoffman