Tags: Trump Administration | nasa | mars | moon | space

NASA Ready for Any US Pivot to Moon Return

Image: NASA Ready for Any US Pivot to Moon Return
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 21 Sep 2017 03:24 PM

Ellen Ochoa, the NASA space center director and four-time astronaut, said NASA is prepared to return to the moon if a presidential administration decides to do so.

NASA has been preparing for a journey to Mars in the 2030s, but now Trump appointees are saying humans may return to the moon before that trip, according to Ars Technica.

"If we do see an administration that decides to make a little bit of a turn and focus a little bit more on the moon, I think we're very well set up to do it," Ochoa said in Ars Technica. "It's not at all incompatible with what we're doing.

"What we've really tried to do at NASA is leave a lot of options open, to develop the basic capabilities — the spacecraft Orion and the heavy lift launch vehicle — and then talk with other partners about what they are interested in doing," Ochoa said earlier this month at Rice University on the 55th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s moon speech, according to Ars Technica.

The current plan involves test flights between 2019 and 2023 for the Orion spacecraft, before starting to set up a "deep-space gateway" in orbit near the moon, an outpost to test technologies in a deep-space environment.

NASA has been preparing for Mars in other ways. A six-person crew studying the effects of a Mars-like habitat emerged Sunday from eight months of isolation.

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Ellen Ochoa, the NASA space center director and four-time astronaut, said NASA is prepared to return to the moon if a presidential administration decides to do so.
nasa, mars, moon, space
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2017-24-21
Thursday, 21 Sep 2017 03:24 PM
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