NASA Unveils Plans For Astronauts To Return To Moon By 2024

A brilliant full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017.                  NASA  Kim Shiflett

A brilliant full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017. NASA Kim Shiflett

The latest initiative was dubbed Artemis, after the goddess of the hunt and the moon in Greek mythology and the twin sister of Apollo.

Next will come Artemis 2, which will orbit Earth's satellite with a crew around 2022; followed finally by Artemis 3 that will put astronauts on lunar soil in 2024, including the first woman.

As part of the firm-fixed-price contract, the team will conduct a one-year demonstration of the power and propulsion spacecraft.

That station will be the lunar orbiting staging point to send astronauts back to the moon's surface in five years - and, Bridenstine says, to pave the way toward future Mars missions.

The NASA administrator announced that Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the moon planned for 2020 to begin the building blocks for the planned 2024 mission.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will make a significant announcement about the Artemis program's lunar exploration plans at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 23, at the Florida Institute of Technology.

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Most importantly - and urgently - Sirangelo was responsible for developing a strategy to meet Vice President Mike Pence's increasingly implausible 2024 deadline for Americans' return to the moon - and his departure suggests that NASA still doesn't have a workable plan in place to get there.

NASA is going back to the Moon, and this time, it intends to stay a while. When the researchers heated this material with a laser to simulate the heat caused by micrometeorite impacts that strikes the surface of the moon, they discovered that the samples released a burst of ions that matching that of ionized heavy water (deuterium oxide), which is basically water with made from the deuterium isotope of hydrogen that can be used in certain types of nuclear reactors but isn't potable.

Earlier this month, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin unveiled its own lunar lander.

NASA selected Maxar Technologies for Gateway's power and propulsion element over competing proposals from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Sierra Nevada.

"The goal here is speed", Bridenstine said, "2024 is right around the corner". NASA will not specify it in every detail but instead will buy it as a service, Bridenstine said.

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