NASA explained why the Americans never returned to the moon

16 Juillet, 2019, 16:50 | Auteur: Therese Cote

Indeed, many of us are taking some time this week to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and take stock of its legacy.

Mr Bridenstein said on CBS' Face The Nation there has always been a "technical risk and a political risk" when it comes to landing on Mars. "What the president said, in order to retire the political risk, we want to go faster".

Bridenstine also said he talked to Trump after a controversial June 7 tweet that questioned NASA's return to the moon effort.

However Mr Bridenstein has said Mr Trump has said to him: "Make sure you're committed to the flag on Mars".

"So we want to go back to the Moon sustainably, in other words, to stay. We would be on Mars, quite frankly, by now had it not been for the political risk", Bridenstine said, adding that funding for the space program was also an issue.

One of the biggest Artemis milestones is scheduled for 2024, when NASA aims to put two astronauts down near the moon's south pole.

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With the added pressure of an accelerated timeline for the agency's return to the moon, Bridenstine recently chose to shake up NASA leadership, reassigning William Gerstenmaier, the longtime associate administrator for human exploration.

Bridenstine said he is continuing to drum up bipartisan support for NASA's moon and Mars missions among the nation's lawmakers.

Asked to comment on NASA's Artemis program, which seeks to create a new heavy rocket, space capsule and lunar lander for a new Moon mission just five years from now, Bridenstine said President Trump's goal was broader. He understands, and in fact, he said to me, 'I know we gotta go to the moon to get to Mars, ' but he said, 'What is that generational achievement that will inspire all of Americans? "Here we are, today, a generation later, ready to go back to the moon sustainability with a very diverse, highly qualified astronaut corps that includes a dozen women, with a program named after the twin sister of Apollo, Artemis".

"In the Apollo era, all of the astronauts came from backgrounds that included either fighter pilots or test pilots, which back then included no opportunities for women", Bridenstine said.

"I'm not willing to rule out a 2033 date", he said.

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