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Moon Return… May 18, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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The Atlantic is rightly sceptical of plans by the Trump administration to return to the Moon by 2024. As it notes, this is – in terms of the science and engineering ‘right around the corner’. And it continues:

To make that goal, NASA would need to launch astronauts inside a crew capsule (that is still being tested) on a giant rocket (that has never flown before) to a floating station around the moon (that doesn’t yet exist) and drop them to the surface in lunar-specific spacesuits (that don’t exist either). In Greek mythology, Artemis and Apollo are twins, but while the Apollo-era missions were fed with a massive budget, this new Artemis mission is off to a smaller start.
The Trump administration’s budget request, with that $1.6 billion tacked on, will go to Congress, which decides how much to give the agency. The money, officials say, will go toward boosting the work NASA is already doing, such as developing the crew capsule and rocket designed to carry astronauts toward the moon. But is it enough?

Apparently not. The injection of an extra $1.6bn is simply too little, even if replicated across four or five years. And there’s no guarantee that sum will be politically achievable since it must be taken from elsewhere in the budget.

I’d love to see humans back on the Moon in the next five years. I’d love to see a Moonlab orbiting around the Moon. But I wonder about this sort of approach.

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