NASA administrator says agency plans to 'go to the Moon and stay'

14 February, 2019, 00:39 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • NASA has called on American firms to help develop human lunar landers

The space agency's administrator also added that initial plans of this ambitious project will begin by next week.

As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on December 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface.

It will be called - fittingly - "the Gateway".

Bridenstine said that the space community has been given a mandate by President Trump to return to the moon.

He said NASA was planning to send astronauts "to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond" and that it was "an exciting time to be leading America's space programme".

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The last time NASA sent humans to the moon was 1972, so the trip is probably long overdue.

'Extraordinary as they were, for many the lunar expeditions are facts from history books or stories told by older relatives'.

Artist's concept of a human landing system and its crew on the lunar surface with Earth near the horizon. It's a sustainable approach that creates more commercial opportunities, which is necessary for long-term human space exploration'.

The Yutu-2 Moon rover and Chang'e-4 lander would resume their science and exploration missions on February 28th and March 1st, respectively, according to the Chinese space agency release, with the rover needing to unfold solar panels and dissipate heat. With the Gateway up and running NASA envisions travel to the Moon becoming much easier, with astronauts harvesting material from the lunar surface to make rocket fuel: Using the Gateway to land astronauts on the Moon allows the first building blocks for fully reusable lunar landers. We are going to the moon with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than we ever thought possible.

Nasa says it plans for these missions to be in operation by the end of 2020.

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