NASA Puts a Price On a 2024 Moon Landing: $35 Billion
An nameless reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Nearly 10 months after Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, the area company has estimated how a lot its Artemis Program will price. NASA says it will want an extra $35 billion over the subsequent 4 years — on high of its present finances — to develop a Human Landing System to get all the way down to the Moon’s floor from lunar orbit whereas additionally accelerating different applications to make the 2024 date. NASA’s human spaceflight chief, Doug Loverro, shared this quantity Monday at Johnson Space Center, because the Trump White House launched its fiscal yr 2021 finances. It requires a large improve in NASA’s finances, 12 p.c over final yr’s finances request, with a top-line variety of $25.2 billion.
The greatest improve will go towards the Human Landing System, $three.37 billion in fiscal yr 2021 alone. NASA says, if funded by Congress, this is able to mark the primary time the United States has immediately spent cash on a lunar lander for the reason that Apollo program within the 1960s. The human spaceflight finances additionally funds a small area station in orbit across the Moon, referred to as the Lunar Gateway. This is a sizable finances request and, different NASA applications apart, represents the sort of funding the area company wants whether it is to make progress towards touchdown people on the Moon within the mid-2020s. The president’s finances additionally helps a lunar program that does significant issues on the Moon, offering a whole lot of tens of millions of to review the extraction of ice from the lunar poles and establishing a habitat on the floor. “In contrast to a recent authorization bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the White House budget proposes using lunar landers developed via public-private partnerships, with contractors investing in their own landers,” the report provides. “Those landers would also be launched on privately developed rockets, helping to contain costs of the Artemis Program.”