WASHINGTON — As NASA works to develop a plan for an accelerated human return to the moon, a top White House official emphasized the need for long-term sustainability that will require both a Gateway and a lunar base.
Speaking at an event at the National Academies here April 23 marking the 50th anniversary of the Universities Space Research Association, Scott Pace, executive secretary of the National Space Council, said the new effort to bring forward a human lunar landing is a “strategy of speed leading towards sustainability” that will make this effort different from the Apollo missions of a half-century ago.
Pace, speaking four weeks after Vice President Mike Pence announced a new goal of a human lunar landing in the next five years, said the accelerated timeline is intended to provide a sense of urgency to focus the agency on that goal. “The purpose of that speed, part of the reason why the vice president made that announcement, was to provide focus and priority,” he said.
“It’s very, very tempting, if you have a far distant goal, to analyze lots and lots of different options and put off making tough decisions about priorities. There’s a clarifying nature to having ...