The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Monday, June 17, that it is ready to send women to the moon—50 years after the first Apollo mission!
The new space mission is aptly named Artemis, after the Goddess of the moon.
Speaking at the 2019 Paris Air Show, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine outlined NASA’s plan to return to the moon by 2024.
“Now we are going back to the moon,” announced Bridenstine, who proceeded to explain the naming process of the new mission. “Fifty years ago, we called it Apollo. It’s just so happens that Apollo has a twin sister. Her name is Artemis, and she also happens to be the goddess of the moon,” said Bridenstine.
Bridenstine revealed that under the new program, NASA is going “to send women to the moon for the first time.”
Then Bridenstine disclosed that this time NASA would be collaborating with commercial partners and international partners.
“We are going to retire the risk, prove the technology, and we are going to take it out to Mars,” said Bridenstine. In other words, the aim of the Artemis moon mission is to test the new generation of spacecraft technology before NASA’s next space destination.
The NASA administrator revealed in a statement, “President Donald Trump has asked NASA to accelerate our plans to return to the moon and to land humans on the surface again by 2024.”
Bridenstine stated, “This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay. And then we will use what we learn on the moon to take the next giant leap—sending astronauts to Mars.”
Present at the air show event was the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
“The U.S. is fully committed to its aerospace industry and we will do whatever is necessary for this industry to continue leading the world,” said Ross, reiterating the Trump administration’s commitment to space exploration.
In May 2019, President Donald J. Trump added an additional $1.6 billion to NASA’s $21 billion 2020 budget to help kick start the program to send American astronauts to the moon again by 2024.