NASA’s plans to develop a crewed facility in lunar orbit to support exploration of the moon got boosts both in the White House’s budget request for the agency as well as from the partners in the International Space Station.
A year after President Donald Trump formally directed NASA to return humans to the moon in Space Policy Directive (SPD) 1, the agency has developed the outlines of a plan to carry that out, while emphasizing the language in the policy to do so in a “sustainable” manner and with international and commercial partners.
NASA’s plans to return humans to the surface of the moon within 10 years got a chilly reception from an advisory group Nov. 15, who called on the agency to accelerate that timeframe and reconsider development of the Gateway facility in lunar orbit.
A Russian space official said Oct. 1 that while his country is interested in lunar exploration, it’s not satisfied with participating in NASA’s lunar Gateway program as currently structured.
A long-overdue exploration roadmap report released by NASA Sept. 24 offers an overview of the agency’s plans to send humans back to the moon and on to Mars, but few new details about how to carry out those plans.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine played down any differences with his Russian counterpart as he gears up for meetings with him and other space agency leaders to discuss cooperation on NASA’s exploration plans.