The USA has stated its intention to put boots on the moon once again. That type of exploration comes with an enormous price tag, leaving some to surprise where the money will come from.
On Wednesday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine introduced that money for the event and testing of a lunar lander wouldn’t come out of NASA’s existing budget for operating the International Space Station, nor would it be used from the space agency’s budget.
“Going to the moon isn’t cheap,” Bridenstine informed a crowd of over 800 individuals here at the annual International Space Station Analysis and Development Conference. “If you cannibalize science, if you cannibalize the International Space Station, you’ll never achieve the end state you want.” This came after President Trump’s original 2019 budget proposed chopping funding for the space station to enhance lunar exploration.
Jim went on to say that an amendment to the 2020 budget request for an additional $1.6 billion seems to have been profitable. “We acquired the money, and it did not come from any part of NASA.”
The most significant chunk of that money, $1 billion, would go toward the event of one or more human-rated landers able to touch down on the lunar surface. “You cannot get to the moon without a lander,” Bridenstine mentioned. Developing a lunar lander would ultimately assist in the development of a lander for the Red Planet, though the two bodies have different atmospheres.
Citing bipartisan support, Bridenstine mentioned that the budget discussions seemed to be going well with the House and Senate.