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NASA Administrator Bridenstine Says It Won't Cost Much to Get Back to the Moon

Accepted submission by takyon at 2018-09-02 12:54:18

Going Back to the Moon Won't Break the Bank, NASA Chief Says []

Sending humans back to the moon won't require a big Apollo-style budget boost, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. During the height of the Apollo program [] in the mid-1960s, NASA gobbled up about 4.5 percent of the federal budget. This massive influx of resources helped the space agency make good on President John F. Kennedy's famous 1961 promise to get astronauts to the moon [], and safely home to Earth again, before the end of the decade. NASA's budget share now hovers around just 0.5 percent. But something in that range should be enough to mount crewed lunar missions in the next 10 years or so, as President Donald Trump has instructed NASA to do with his Space Policy Directive 1, Bridenstine told reporters yesterday (Aug. 30) here at NASA's Ames Research Center.

The key lies in not going it alone and continuing to get relatively modest but important financial bumps, he added. (Congress allocated over $20.7 billion to NASA in the 2018 omnibus spending bill — about $1.1 billion more than the agency got in the previous year's omnibus bill.)

"We now have more space agencies on the surface of the planet than we've ever had before. And even countries that don't have a space agency — they have space activities, and they want to partner with us on our return to the moon," Bridenstine said in response to a question from "And, at the same time, we have a robust commercial marketplace of people that can provide us access that historically didn't exist," the NASA chief added. "So, between our international and commercial partners and our increased budget, I think we're going to be in good shape to accomplish the objectives of Space Policy Directive 1."

We're talking about the surface of the Moon, right? Not the mini-ISS in lunar orbit [] that would give the Space Launch System somewhere to go?

Previously: President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1 []
2020s to Become the Decade of Lunar Re-Exploration []
NASA Cancels Lunar Rover []
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Serious About Returning to the Moon []

Related: Should We Skip Mars for Now and Go to the Moon Again? []
How to Get Back to the Moon in 4 Years, Permanently []
NASA Administrator Ponders the Fate of SLS in Interview []

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