Washington, March 27 (IANS) NASA has accepted a challenge from the Donald Trump administration to return humans to the Moon by 2024, four years ahead of the US space agency’s earlier set target.
US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday challenged NASA to put humans back on the Moon within five years at a meeting of the National Space Council, CNET reported.
“Today, I spoke at the National Space Council where we discussed the need to accelerate our return to the Moon. We will be taking actions to accomplish this and I know @NASA is ready for the challenge of moving forward to the Moon, this time to stay,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.
“We will go with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than was ever thought possible. This time, when we go to the Moon, we will stay. And then we will use what we learn on the Moon to take the next giant leap — sending astronauts to Mars,” Bridenstine said in a statement.
NASA said it is going with a commercial and international partners to explore faster and explore more together.
The US Vice President’s speech echoed overtones of the Cold War tensions that drove NASA to achieve the original Apollo 11 Moon landing on schedule 50 years ago this July, the CNET report said.