According to recent announcements by NASA and the President of the United States, Donald Trump, NASA is going back to the moon. However, an interesting point about the next lunar mission is that it’s going to host the first female astronaut ever. It’s worth noting that so far only 12 men have gone to the moon.
Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
Earlier this week, NASA announced that plans to bring humanity back to the moon have accelerated to just five years. That means that the next lunar mission is planned to take place in 2024. That said, the space agency wants to take an entirely different approach to the Apollo missions.
One of the first things about the next lunar mission is that there will be the first female astronaut to land on its surface. Also, the missions to the moon are getting a new name. Previously, they were named Apollo, after a Greek god. However, the space agency wants to follow up with gender equality by renaming the mission after the Greek goddess, Artemis, who is also Apollo’s twin sister.
“Fifty years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man and first woman to the Moon,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said as per CNN. Whether it’s symbolic or not, the moon is going to host the first woman.
However, many news outlets held onto the skepticism of whether the mission will happen at all. The mission is more than ambitious and has great potential. Still, the time frame provided is not flexible enough and appears to be unrealistic. Moreover, Congress has yet to accept the upgraded budget after President Trump tweeted about the additional $ 1.6 billion for the agency this year.
The question arises about whether this funding will be enough to supply all the necessary conditions for the next lunar mission to take place. Astronauts will need a new powerful rocket, a launch system, new approach for landing to the Moon, lunar space suits that would suffice, especially after the incident of the first all-female spacewalk that was supposed to happen earlier this year. Also, while proposed in the last few years, the space station between Earth and the Moon hasn’t yet been built, although the Japanese space agency JAXA and NASA have started developing plans to include the Russian space agency Roscosmos as well.
“Humans are the most fragile element of this entire endeavour and yet we go for humanity,” it says in NASA’s video.