Study says the moon is shrinking

Olive Hawkins
May 15, 2019

"As you know, the president has given our agency the bold charge to land the next man and the first woman on the lunar South Pole by 2024", Bridenstine said in a video message to NASA staff. "It's not coming from any part of NASA", he said. "We're going to ask for industry's comments, how do they want to do this".

But at a recent Congressional hearing, Bridenstine disputed that. "I think there's a lot of excitement on both sides of the aisle", he said.

At the Humans to Mars Summit, Bridenstine told an auditorium filled with Mars exploration advocates that the accelerated human return to the moon would also aid missions to Mars.

The agency has chosen to call the mission Artemis in a nod to this decision and to past missions alike; Artemis is the mythical Greek lunar goddess and twin sister of Apollo. In addition to sending a woman, NASA will also send one man.

This prominent lunar lobate thrust fault scarp is one of the thousands discovered in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera images.

But many experts and lawmakers are concerned that Nasa can not meet the accelerated deadline, especially given the major delays in development of the SLS, which is being built by aerospace giant Boeing.

The name has also been used for a European communications satellite (retired in 2017) and was the fictional title given to the first city on the moon in author Andy Weir's ("The Martian") 2017 science fiction novel "Artemis." Bridenstine said during the call that he had not been briefed on what those budgetary offsets would be.

This leaves $651 million in additional funding for SLS and Orion, in order to accelerate completion of the rocket and spacecraft.

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James Reuter, the acting Associate Administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate, identified ISRU as well as precision landing, solar electric propulsion, and cryogenic fluid management technologies as areas under development in support of the Artemis program.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the extra money for the moon mission would come from surplus funding for Pell grants, the financial aid program for low-income college students. Many in the space industry are concerned that the proposal may face opposition because of the Office of Management and Budget sought to offset the increased spending for NASA, and smaller, unrelated increases to other agencies, by proposing to cut Pell Grant funding, used to help low-income students pay for college, by almost $1.9 billion.

'The moon is the proving ground; Mars is the horizon goal'. "All we need. we've got in this budget". But evidence is beginning to show that these rocky bodies stay warm, and continue to remain seismically active, for a long time, Watters said. We proved that with Apollo 13.

US President Donald Trump has challenged NASA to send astronauts to the moon by 2024.

The newly accelerated goal - an endeavor likely to cost tens of billions of dollars - comes as NASA has struggled with the help of private partners to resume human space missions from US soil for the first time since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

Last week Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, announced plans from his Blue Origin space company for a lunar lander.

The other elements of the Gateway would be deferred to the future in order to establish a sustained presence by 2028.

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