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NASA Chief Doubles Down on Bold Timetable for Landing Men on Mars

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NASA is pursuing an aggressive timetable for a return to the moon followed by a manned mission to Mars, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said this week.

During remarks Friday at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C., he spoke of NASA’s plan to return to the moon in 5 years.

The 2024 deadline is 4 years earlier than NASA’s original timetable.

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“If we are accelerating the moon landing, we are accelerating the Mars landing,” Bridenstine said.

“I suggest we can do it by 2035,” he added, according to Space.com.

Is landing a manned mission on Mars an achievable goal?

The comments follow a similar timetable Bridenstine gave the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in April.

“We want to achieve a Mars landing in 2033,” Bridenstine said at the time.

“In order to do that, we have to accelerate other parts of the program, and the moon is a big piece of that.”

He said NASA is marshaling its resources to make the aggressive timetable a reality

“We have an opportunity here, should we choose to accept it, to no-kidding get to the moon in 2024,” Bridenstine said. “That kind of vision is in front of us if we want to go after it, and I think we can achieve it, given what is available right now.”

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President Donald Trump has said that the moon mission is designed as an interim step to reaching Mars.

“We’re stopping at the moon. The moon is actually a launching pad,” Trump said last month, according to a White House transcript.

“That’s why we’re stopping at the moon. I said, ‘Hey, we’ve done the moon. That’s not so exciting.’ They said, ‘No, sir. It’s a launching pad for Mars.’ So we’ll be doing the Moon. But we’ll really be doing Mars.”

Trump in 2017 issued a policy directive pointing NASA toward Mars.

“[T]he United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations,” the directive said.

Vice President Mike Pence told the IAC conference that reaching the moon in 2024, in what NASA has dubbed the Artemis project, requires not just dollars, but a renewed will that the Trump administration has brought to space travel.

“The truth is, for more than a generation, a vision for human space exploration had languished, in this country and around the world,” Pence said, according to Space.com. “But those days are over.”

“With America’s renewed vision for human space exploration, we will lead mankind into the vast expanse of space,” he said, later adding, “With Apollo in the history books, the Artemis mission has begun, and we are well on our way to making NASA’s moon-to-Mars mission a reality.”

Pence said America wants and needs partners as it reaches out toward Mars.

“To be clear, our vision is to be a leader amongst freedom-loving nations on the adventure into the great unknown,” Pence said.

“The United States of America will always be willing to work closely with like-minded, freedom-loving nations as we lead mankind into the final frontier.”

Although NASA has sent unmanned probes to Mars, sending humans requires addressing issues that include astronaut health during the long trip to, as well as feeding and communicating with astronauts once they arrive.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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