NASA has been pretty vocal over last couple of days about its upcoming moon mission. While NASA’s initial plan was to return to the moon was in 2028, Trump administration asked the space agency to push up the timeline to 2024. With the mission is just five years away, the space agency has recently revealed that it will need additional $20 billion in order to go ahead with the plan.
If you were unaware, NASA at the moment gets about $20 billion allocation in annual budget. However, if the agency is to send humans back to the Moon by 2024, it will require additional $20-30 billion to complete the mission. As a result, it’s unclear if NASA will get a raise of 5 to 6 billion dollars in the agency’s annual budget for the few years.
NASA’s latest request comes after the current administration had already submitted a request for additional $1.6 billion for the space agency’s budget for next year. While we’ll have to wait to find out, the officials are planning on getting that $1.6 billion funding from Pell Grants program which helps low income students to attend college. As a result, the move has attracted a lot of criticisms from students nationwide.
As for the Moon mission, NASA will use a number of new projects which are either in development or in conceptual stage to accomplish its goals to reach the moon. The space agency expects that their knowledge from the moon mission will help researchers to learn more about inhabiting in space which will ultimately lead towards future Mars mission.
Few days earlier, US President Donald Trump emphasized that NASA should focus on much bigger things. While the Tweet had a broader meaning, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that nothing regarding the upcoming moon mission has changed and Trump was in fact talking about Moon mission.