On Monday evening, NASA officials disclosed an updated budget request to Congress, requesting over $1 billion in extra finance in what they bellowed as down payment to hasten the return of astronauts to Moon by 2024.
NASA and the White House would be requesting Congress for the additional $1.6 billion in the next year’s budget so that human missions to Moon and returning people to the lunar surface by 2024 could be speeded up. NASA requested this fund in addition to the $21 billion budget that has been already demanded by the president.
The subsidizing proposal is laid out in a new budget revision that NASA officials have been building for the last two months, along with input from the White House. The extra funds are meant to assist NASA meet Pence’s challenge of sending astronauts back to the Moon within the coming five years.
Earlier in March, during a speech, at a meeting of the National Space Council Pence stated that NASA’s original goal of sending humans to the Moon by 2028 wasn’t good enough. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine even had detailed the plan for speeding up the lunar return. However, it became evident that regarding architecture and budget, no definite plan has been decided yet.
Of the $1.6 billion the agency is demanding, $651 million is intended to expedite the development of vehicles that NASA has already been working on, i.e. a big new rocket known as the Space Launch System, or the SLS, and a new capsule called Orion to transport humans. The Orion capsule is intended to ride on top of the future SLS, ferrying humans into deep space and onto the Moon. The vehicles are meant to fly together for the first time in 2020, indicating the debut of the SLS. However, the 2020 launch date is still very ambiguous.