NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine plans to meet with international counterparts in Paris this week to discuss cooperation on the agency’s Artemis lunar program, but says those discussions are still in their early stages.
NASA has laid out a rough plan for what it now calls the Artemis program, including what needs to be built — SLS and Orion, a “minimal” Gateway and lunar landers — and how it can come together in time for a 2024 landing. What the agency has been less forthcoming about, though, is how much it will cost.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a television interview June 13 that it will cost the agency an additional $20 billion to $30 billion to return humans to the moon, the first range of costs given by the agency for the program.
Scientists and the chair of a key House committee expressed concern at a June 11 hearing that NASA could raid science programs to pay for its accelerated return to the moon.
As NASA starts development of lunar landers for Artemis, it should carefully incorporate the lessons learned from the commercial crew program, a safety panel advised.
A day after President Trump appeared to cast doubt on NASA’s plans to send humans to the moon, a White House official said the moon remained a goal of the agency’s programs as a step towards Mars.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the administration’s request to add $1.6 billion to the agency’s 2020 budget to start work on the Artemis lunar program was not “dead on arrival” despite a lack of action on it by House appropriators.