NASA is currently working on a revamped plan which accelerates the return of humans to the surface of our natural satellite, but other space agencies do not appear to be too enthusiastic regarding NASA’s new plans on the future Moon mission. Many of the international partners aren’t sure if they will play a role in the upcoming project.
Vice President Mike Pence announced the goal during an event which took place on March 26, stating that the primary aim is to land humans on the southern area of the Moon within a timeframe of five years. More than a month has passed since the announcement, and NASA is still working on a strategic outline which should explain how the mission will be conducted.
The plan is known internally, and it is likely that it will be shared soon with the White House. A revised budget is currently under development, and it is expected that NASA will receive a funding increase of at least a few billion dollars, starting with the 2020 fiscal year.
International partners are not enthusiastic regarding NASA’s new plans on the future Moon mission
According to a few comments offered by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during the 35th Space Symposium, the agency envisions a two-stage strategy, with the first one being focused on speed. It is known that this approach is quite popular among NASA employees.
At a general level, NASA’s new plans would involve the use of the Space Launch System, a few lunar landers and a heavily-modified version of the lunar Gateway initiative for the first future Moon mission. Earlier concepts of the lunar Gateway were quite ambitious, offering a complex system which bundled several modules, including dedicated habitation and utilization ones.
A bare-bones concept mentions the use of the Power and Propulsion modules, which are currently in the making, and a docking platform which could be used as a habitation module. Potential Gateway partners haven’t shared their opinions on the new accelerated schedule, but it could impact their contributions to the project, so they are not at all impressed, at the moment, by the NASA’s new plans on the future Moon mission.
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.