In a recent interview, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine revealed that the agency looks forward to having a permanent base on the moon and send “lots of humans in space.”
At the meeting that took place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, the NASA administrator shared his plans on building Gateway’ modules that would orbit the moon and have astronauts go to the surface of the moon in 30-60 days long missions.
This is just the beginning, he explained. The next steps would be to create a second Gateway that would let humans get to Mars.
“We want to go to stay”
Here are some of Bridenstine’s statements at the event in Houston:
“We want to go to stay. And the Gateway, in my view – I’ve been convinced – enables us to take advantage of commercial and international partners in a more robust way so we are there to stay, it enables us to get to more parts of the moon than ever before, and it enables us to get to Mars.”
The NASA administrator argues that they should have gone back to the moon a decade ago, as soon as they discovered there was water ice on the moon:
“From 1969, when we first landed on the moon, up until 2009, a lot of people believed that the moon was bone-dry. In 2008, the Indians did an experiment and they realized there was water ice on the moon and then we did an experiment and realized how much water ice could potentially be on the moon at the poles.”
After going back 40 years in scientific discoveries, Bridenstine has one question: “during those 40 years, we missed that [there was water on the moon]. What else have we missed?”
The NASA administrator wants to have astronauts get to other parts of the moon, explaining that our natural satellite is an “amazing proving ground for all of the technologies and the human-performance capabilities that are necessary to survive on another planet and the ability to develop in-situ utilization abilities.” He believes that after facing the challenges on this “proving ground,” they would be better trained for when they get to Mars.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.