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Can NASA really put the astronauts on the Moon in 2024?



NASA may be confronted with the aggressive timeline of the lunar landing of the Trump administration, experts say, but that will not be easy. On Tuesday (March 26th), Vice President Mike Pens instructed NASA to put the astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024, four years earlier than previously planned. Such urgency is necessary to preserve the country's leadership and dominance in space, Pans said. everything because the rules and values ​​of space, like any great frontier, will be written by those who have the courage to get there first and the commitment to stay, "said the vice president at the fifth meeting of the National Space Council

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridgetin expressed confidence that the 2024 target was achievable. Such was Lockheed Martin, the chief executive of Orion, the crew's capsule that NASA's astronauts will drive to the moon and other deep space flights.

For example, Lockheed representatives said the company could build a relatively fast moon crew using Orion's developed technology. This ship could be touched by 2024 if it deviated from the "early version" of the gate the lunar orbital space station that NASA plans to launch in 2022 as a landmark for landing operations.

"This approach provides an earlier landing option involving reusable technology that also lays the foundation for a future extended, sustainable human presence on the moon," said Lisa Callahan, vice president and general manager of Commercial Commercial Space at Lockheed Martin Space. email statement. "This is an aggressive but achievable timetable and can be a catalyst to help launch a new era of human exploration on the Moon, Mars and beyond."

And experts who have no skin in the game have agreed that this is not done casually, said space logistics expert John Logsden, professor of political science and international affairs at the University of International Relations at the University "George Washington" in Washington, DC

people at the Space Council are smart people, and they will not set such a date without feeling that it is possible, "he said at Space.com

" I think, that is feasible, "director of space policy Brian Veeden, an annotation of programs at the Secure World nonprofit foundation, said Space.com.

However, keeping this ambitious schedule will require concerted efforts by NASA, the White House and the Office of Management and Budget, Logsden said. "The question has always been a policy," Veeden said. "Historically, Congress and the White House tend to pull NASA in different directions," he explained, and the agency does not have enough money for it. to do whatever is required to do.

So the executive and the legislature will have to get on the same page and stay there to make 2024 happen, Veeden said. And NASA may need to adapt its deep space strategy, he added.

This strategy involves astronauts using Orion and (1

9459008) (SLS), a giant rocket that is still developing. The SLS is scheduled to launch for the first time in 2020 when it will send Orion to an unchecked test flight around the moon, an experience known as the Research Mission 1 (EM-1). has experienced multiple delays, so meeting the 2024 deadline may require "some commercial decision," Weeden said. Anyway, he added, NASA and the nation would probably have to take some increased risk.

"If the goal is to land people on the Moon by 2024, it does not leave much time for test flights," said Weeden. "Whether it is too risky is above my degree. This is a huge debate. "

Original article by Space.com


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