President Donald Trump wants to accelerate the return of American astronauts to the moon, within five years, 47 years after the end of the Apollo missions.
Forty-seven years after the Apollo missions , the Americans want to be the next to tread the moon again . The government of Donald Trump announced Tuesday 27th March, 2019 an acceleration of the return of American astronauts on the Moon, from 2024 to 2028.
Vice President Mike Pence announced it at “Rocket City” in Huntsville, Alabama, where American rockets have been built since the 1960s, in a very harsh speech to NASA , whose slowness is criticised.
“By order of the President, the official policy of this administration and the United States of America is to bring American astronauts back to the moon within five years,” said Mike Pence, who chairs the National Council of the United States. space, an instance of the White House out of limbo by Donald Trump after coming to power.
“The first woman and the next man on the moon will be American astronauts, launched by American rockets from American soil.”
A first woman on the moon
This confirms what the administrator of NASA said: a woman should be the next to walk the lunar ground, no human has touched since the end of the Apollo missions in 1972.
Donald Trump had undertaken to bring Nasa out of the torpor into which it had entered with the end of space shuttles in 2011, and set in 2017 as a goal a return to the moon as the first step before the human exploration of Mars.
NASA had finally established a progressive schedule of sending robots and instruments, before a human landing on the Moon in 2028.
” It’s not enough. We are better than that. It took us eight years to go to the moon the first time, fifty years ago, when we had never done it. It should not take us 11 years to go back, “said Mike Pence.
He compared Donald Trump to John F. Kennedy, both “dreamers”. And he revived the language of the Cold War, substituting China for the USSR as a great rival in space.
“We are engaged in a space race just like in the 1960s, but the stakes are higher,” said the American number two. He recalled that China had landed a robot on the far side of the moon , “revealing its ambition to seize the lunar advantage.”
Sharp with the muffled tone and praise usually reserved for the mythical space agency, he has sharply criticized the years of delay and the billions of dollars in budget overruns of the powerful SLS rocket, under construction by Boeing for NASA, and whose first flight (unmanned) was scheduled for 2020 until NASA announced recently that it would not be ready in time.
And in this industrial temple of NASA, he directly threatened Boeing.
“If today’s contractors can not reach that goal, we will find others who will succeed,” said Mike Pence. “If private rockets are the only way to bring American astronauts back to the moon in five years, then they will be private rockets,” he said.
He did not mention SpaceX or other companies, but the allusion was clear. SpaceX currently has rockets capable of launching heavy loads into space, and Mike Pence has implied that rather than waiting for the SLS government rocket to be ready, the administration was ready to lease the services of less expensive private carriers.
“We will ask Nasa not only to change the policy, but to adopt a new mindset,” continued the vice president. “Nasa needs to transform itself into a leaner, more agile and more accountable organization. If NASA is not able to send American astronauts to the moon within five years, we must change the organization, not the mission. ”
“Message perfectly received,” replied NASA boss Jim Bridenstine a few minutes later, who assured that SLS would be accelerated and finally ready in 2020.