Program aims for sustainable presence on the moon

NASA has put a price on Artemis, the space agency’s ambitious plan for returning to the moon by 2024.

“For the whole program, to get a sustainable presence on the moon, we’re looking at between $20-30 billion,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an interview that aired Thursday.

Speaking to CNN, Mr. Bridenstine said the money for the project would be needed in addition to funds allocated to NASA’s annual budget and does not include funds already spent on the SLS rocket and Orion capsule likely to be used.

NASA’s current annual budget is $21.5 billion, and spreading the estimated cost of Artemis over the next half-decade would necessitate an additional $4 billion to $6 billion each year.

Unveiled by NASA last month, the project aims to return astronauts to the moon by 2024 and eventually establish a “sustained human presence” on and around the moon within four years.

President Trump has asked Congress to authorize an additional $1.6 billion for NASA’s budget next year, and he recently said on Twitter that the money was needed to fund efforts including “going back to the Moon, then Mars.”


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