This week NASA announced its most advanced plan to return two astronauts, one of them is a woman to the Moon in 2024. The cost is estimated to be $28 billion from which $16 billion will be spent on the lunar lander that will carry the astronauts. Three different projects are running simultaneously to build the lunar landing module.
Congress that will face elections in November will require to sign off on the finances for the project as the U.S. President has set it as a topmost priority. The budget will cover for the years of 2021-2025 for the NASA project.
Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, said to journalists on Monday that political risks during such critical elections are the greatest threat to any NASA projects.
Previously Barack Obama withdrew proposals for a manned Mars mission post his forerunner spent billions of dollars on the project.
If Congress passes the first part of $3.2 billion by December, then the project will be on track for 2024 without any delay.
Out of the three projects, one by Blue Origin, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. Dynetics and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are undertaking the other two projects.
The first flight will be in November 2021, Artemis I which will be unmanned: the new giant rocket SLS, and is under test phase, will take off for the initial period with the Orion capsule.
Artemis II is scheduled to go about the Moon with astronauts in 2023 but has no plans to land.
Eventually, Artemis III will be the same as Apollo 11 in 1969, but this time the stay will be longer and will hold two to five “extravehicular activities.”
Bridenstine said this time it is very different from what they have done earlier, and it is beneficial to know that the Moon is not just bone dry but has water ice at the South pole.