Pence calls for landing U.S. astronauts on moon in 5 years

Pablo Tucker
March 29, 2019

Otherwise, it threatened the Pence, for the next moon mission on private space travel company: "If commercial rockets are the only way to bring American astronauts in the next five years, to the moon, then it will be a commercial rocket".

The US space agency's administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a Twitter post: "Challenge accepted".

And Pence directed NASA to use "any means necessary" to accomplish the goal, including adopting commercial vehicles, non-traditional contractor approaches and, if necessary, getting rid of contractors who are unable to meet this new goal.

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.

Vice President Mike Pence, left, speaking with museum docents at the National Space Council meeting held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The last Apollo lunar mission, Apollo 17, took place in 1972. "In order to succeed we must focus on the mission over the means", he added.

The ambitious goal would cost tens of billions of dollars it seems NASA will be able to rise back after a struggle with the help of private partners to carry out manned missions from the U.S. soil for the first time since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

Pence's announcement comes after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced it had to scrap its first all-female spacewalk because it didn't have well-fitting space suits for its female astronauts.

The US vice president declared: "The exploration of the heavens in this still new century will go forward with or without the United States". More recently, former president Barack Obama targeted Mars as astronauts' next big destination, while his successor at the White House, Donald Trump, has favoured the moon.

He said the U.S. was engaged in a present-day "space race" under Trump, this time against China, just as the country was in the 1960s under President John F. Kennedy against the Soviet Union. One such goal is to prepare for a crewed mission's landing near the moon's south pole, which scientists believe contains enough ice that can be used to support life. Alabamians have been crucial to building America's great space heritage, & we're honored to, once again, be actively engaged in the pursuit to return Americans to the Moon & beyond.

The moon in turn is seen by NASA as a key stepping stone on the way to an eventual manned mission to Mars. They will send astronauts to the Mars.

"It shouldn't take us 11 years to get back".

"There's a lot of excitement about our plans and also a lot of hard work and challenges ahead, but I know the NASA workforce and our partners are up to it", Bridenstine said. Will it happen this time, or become just another footnote in space exploration history?

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