HOUSTON — An organization of current and former space travelers is offering its expertise to NASA as the agency works towards a “quite aggressive” goal of landing people on the moon in five years.
Leaders of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), a professional group comprised of about 400 people who have made at least one orbit of the Earth, said at a press conference at the beginning of their week-long 32nd Planetary Congress here Oct. 14 that their experience in spaceflight could be critical to the success of the Artemis program.
“We’ve been, in the last few years, trying to become better known as a resource for human spaceflight,” said Michael Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut and president of ASE. “It’s hard to argue against the vast majority of people that have flown in space.”
Lopez-Alegria called 2024 deadline for returning humans to the moon, set earlier this year by Vice President Mike Pence, as a “quite aggressive” timetable, but one that also serves a purpose. “In any complex program like that, somebody needs to draw a line in the sand,” he said. “It may be aspirational, but without something like that it’s difficult to get people pulling in ...