In a newly published report, NASA goes into depth about how it plans to send astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, at an estimated cost of nearly $28 billion between now and then.
It’s not yet clear whether Congress will go along with the timetable and the ticket price laid out for the Artemis moon program. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said budget deliberations over the next few months could tell the tale.
A key indicator will be how much money is approved in the current fiscal year to support work on the landing system designed to get astronauts to the moon.
NASA wants $3.2 billion in fiscal 2021 for development efforts involving SpaceX as well as rival teams led by Dynetics and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture. In contrast, House appropriators set aside $600 million.
Bridenstine said he hoped the figure would be bumped up to the requested $3.2 billion, during negotiations that could go on for a couple of months amid a continuing resolution.
“If we can have that done before Christmas, we’re still on track for a 2024 moon landing,” he told reporters during a teleconference.
But if the $3.2 billion isn’t available by ...