In Today’s Deep Space Extra… As NASA moves out to accelerate a return to the surface of the Moon with astronauts from 2028 to 2024 potential international partners are assessing how they can fit in. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine acknowledges funding is a concern for advancing a lunar landing schedule. Israel’s SpaceIL pledges to rebound from last week’s failed Beresheet landing on the Moon with a second mission. Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane and a commercial airborne rocket launch platform, took to the skies over Mojave, California, for the first time on Saturday.
Human Space Exploration
NASA’s accelerated Moon plans create uncertainty for international partners
SpaceNews.com (4/14): In late March, the Trump administration directed NASA to accelerate a human return to the surface of the Moon from 2028 to 2024, a move that the agency’s prospective international partners are attempting to assess. Concerns arose during the annual Space Symposium last week in Colorado Springs. The internationals are looking primarily to partner with NASA for a lunar orbiting, human tended Gateway to which NASA’s Orion crew capsule would dock and that would serve as a command module for reusable surface landers and ascent vehicles. NASA anticipates a revision to its White ...