US Vice President Mike Pens challenged NASA to send people to the Moon by 2024. Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, accepted the challenge and announced that the deadline is sufficient.
Pens wants a little more dynamics from NASA’s space projects. During a meeting at Alabama Space Center, he announced, that sending astronauts to the Moon, for up to 5 years, is in the goals of the current presidential administration.
“Challenge accepted. Now let’s get to work.” Brindenstine said on Twitter.
BIG NEWS: President Trump and @VP Pence have directed @NASA to return astronauts to the Moon in the next 5 years.— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) 26 март 2019 г.
Challenge accepted. Now let’s get to work.https://t.co/MjcDSG6NLc pic.twitter.com/QqYofbKzOe
The initial goal was for this to happen by 2028. With increasing space ambitions of other countries and the private sector, however, the US administration wants to show that it also continues to work and develop.
Pens says a new space race is starting, including China. The Asian country has already sent robotic moon-rover, as well as having ambitions to send astronauts and establish a space station around the Earth.
NASA wants to send astronauts to the lunar south pole or close to it. The mission will also be important for gathering information and experience before traveling astronauts to Mars.
According to Pens, sending US astronauts to the Moon should be “at all costs,” even if it requires to use boosters by a private company. This may be necessary if NASA’s new space system does not become ready in time.