NASA has rejected President Trump’s request to return astronauts to the moon’s by 2019, saying that to add astronauts to the mission would have cost an additional $600 to $900 million, for a program that will already cost $23 billion by the time the first rocket takes off.
NASA took 3 months studying how to put astronauts on their new rocket which was not built to carry people, concluding that it was “technically capable of launching crew” on the mission, it would be too costly and risky during such a limited time-span. Instead, NASA will launch the mission unmanned as originally planned.
The spacecraft would require additional life support systems, display panels, and abort systems, pushing the project back further to support astronauts.
One Trump adviser told The Washington Post that adding astronauts to the project is intended to be “a clear signal” to the Chinese that the U.S. will retain its dominance in space.
Still, Trump wants to give America it’s pride back by doing something spectacular in space. Trump has talked about sending Americans to Mars by the end of a potential second term in office.
Accomplishing such a voyage would likely mean spending huge amounts of money to accelerate NASA’s program, or hiring private companies like SpaceX, which say they can do the job more cheaply.
What do you think, should we go back to the moon?
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