No more than three weeks have passed since Vice President Mike Pence has asked NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine to return to the moon before 2024.
Ever since that happened, they have been looking for support around the county. They have testified before the Congress, talking about the possible budget with The White House, speaking at conferences and visiting Rice University, which, also, happens to be their alma mater.
The biggest concern: building a political momentum
During the visit, Bridenstine has met with Ars in order to talk about the effort. The biggest concern at the moment is building a political momentum in order to fund the entire project. This actually means that they will have to develop an amendment to the President of the United States’s Budget Request for the fiscal year 2020 – they were looking for more money for the Moon program. If we are to be realistic, the amendment will be ready by the end of this month.
We are talking about a very important document, and the White House only has one chance to do this right, if they want NASA to be able to reach the 2024 goal.
In order to begin the preparations, with the lunar lander development, the designing of new spacesuits, and all the plans, the money for the funding must arrive at the start of the fiscal year – on the 1st of October. This will only be possible with a political consensus.
It is possible to reach the 2024 goal, but it is definitely not easy. The political risk is the biggest one. They need to make sure they are getting the money in time.
One of the approaches will involve using the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft, and some private rockets. The journey to the moon will involve three flights of the SLS rocket – the first one in 2020, with an Orion spacecraft without any crew; the second one in 2022, with a crewed spacecraft; and the third one in 2024.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.