Stories written for CBS News and used with permission.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Friday the Biden Administration’s $ 24.8 billion to allow the agency to follow up to send the first woman and next man to the moon as early as 2024, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said. On friday But he warned that the target date was far from something.
“Space is difficult,” he said. “As you can see, development of space systems in the past has been delayed. As you go further from the world with new technologies, we’ve seen some delays in the past. Will this happen? I cannot answer that question.
“I know the goal is 2024, but I think we have to be brutal, that history will tell us because space development is so difficult that there may be delays in the schedule for the first human demonstration flight to land and take off. night To the world in safety “
The $ 24.8 billion budget request is a 6.6 percent increase over 2021 and includes $ 6.88 billion for the Artemis moon program and $ 4 billion for space operations covering the International Space Station and commercial crew and cargo missions to. Laboratory
The largest single category in the budget is Science Operations, totaling $ 7.93 billion, including $ 3.2 billion for planetary exploration, with initial funding for the Mars sample return mission and $ 2.25 billion. For the new multi-satellite Earth Science initiative to learn more about climate change and its impacts.
“The president’s budget request is an acknowledgment that NASA’s mission contributes to the larger administration’s goals for America: climate change, promoting equality, driving economic growth, research and advocacy for the United States.” Developing STEMs, all of which have equal jobs, ”Nelson said.“ It’s the biggest budget request for NASA science ever made. The Biden Administration is proving that science is back. ”
$ 6.88 billion worth of space exploration, including $ 4.48 billion to cover the continued development of the space launch system – SLS – ultra-high lift rocket and planned upgrades to the Orion crew capsule that will bring astronauts to. Also the moon and the terrestrial system needed
Another $ 2.39 billion has been allocated for the ongoing development of the lunar space station, the planned gateway that will serve as a research laboratory and staging base and the new lunar lander – the human landing system. Or HLS to bring astronauts down to the surface and back. Into the orbit of the moon
NASA is currently preparing to launch its first SLS rocket later this year, adding the unused Orion capsule on flights over the moon and back. If the mission goes well, a second SLS and another Orion will make similar lunar rounds in the 2023 time frame before landing by the end of 2024.
The 2024 target was set by the Trump administration, and although it was never a realistic target due to the number of jobs required and budget expectations, NASA stuck to the target, saying it would still be achievable if development was. Go smoothly
The proposed 2022 budget for space exploration includes $ 1.2 billion for the initial funding of the $ 2.89 billion SpaceX contract to develop the Lunar Lander, awarded an HLS contract called “Option A” in April. Called for two demonstration missions, one with a test flight without an aircraft and one with an astronaut on board
But two rivals – Blue Origin and Dynetics – protested the SpaceX award and the contract is pending review.
Against that backdrop, amendments to the Senate bill that are pending will force NASA to fund the development of at least one additional lander and will allow $ 10 billion for the HLS program over the course of four years. That compares with $ 7 billion or so, Nelson said, the Biden’s administration over the same period.
“There was no uncertain condition that showed me by members of both the House and Senate that they wanted to compete for the remainder of the driver contract that would come a decade after the first demonstration flight,” said Nell. Said.
However, it plays out, Nelson said the 2022 budget NASA is offering the agency. “Resources for Developing America’s Lunar-Mars Space Exploration Plan”
“It keeps us on track for the Artemis mission to the moon on a regular basis,” he said. “Under Artemis, America will have the first woman and the first woman of color on the moon. And this commitment is not just a word. But it is an action “