World America 14 May 2019 Trump wants extra US ...

Trump wants extra USD 1.6 billion in NASA to send Americans to moon

REUTERS
Published May 14, 2019, 9:24 am IST
Updated May 14, 2019, 9:25 am IST
The Trump administration asked Congress on Monday to increase NASA spending next year by an extra USD 1.6 billion.
The proposed increase would bring NASA's total spending level for the 2020 fiscal year to USD 22.6 billion. (Photo:AP)
 The proposed increase would bring NASA's total spending level for the 2020 fiscal year to USD 22.6 billion. (Photo:AP)

Washington: The Trump administration asked Congress on Monday to increase NASA spending next year by an extra USD 1.6 billion to accommodate the accelerated goal of returning Americans to the surface of the moon by 2024.

The increased funding request, announced by President Donald Trump on Twitter, comes nearly two months after Vice President Mike Pence declared the objective of shortening by four years NASA's timeline for putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972.

 

The proposed increase would bring NASA's total spending level for the 2020 fiscal year to USD 22.6 billion. The bulk of the increase is earmarked for research and development for a human lunar landing system, according to a summary provided by NASA.

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"Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars," Trump tweeted late on Monday. "I am updating my budget to include an additional USD 1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!"

 

NASA had previously aimed to return crewed spacecraft to the lunar surface by the year 2028, after first putting a "Gateway" station into orbit around the moon by 2024.

In this image taken from NASA Television, a SpaceX shipment prepares to arrive at the International Space Station following a weekend launch, Monday, May 6, 2019. The Dragon capsule reached the orbiting complex Monday, delivering 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of equipment and experiments. (NASA TV via AP) In this image taken from NASA Television, a SpaceX shipment prepares to arrive at the International Space Station following a weekend launch, Monday, May 6, 2019. The Dragon capsule reached the orbiting complex Monday, delivering 5,500 pounds (2,500 kilograms) of equipment and experiments. (NASA TV via AP)

The newly accelerated goal - an endeavour 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.

 

The US Apollo program, NASA's forerunner to the effort at returning humans to Earth's natural satellite, tallied six manned missions to the moon from 1969 to 1972.

So far, only two other nations have conducted controlled "soft" landings on the moon - the former Soviet Union and China. But those were with unmanned robot vehicles.

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