Trump Vows to Make Space Exploration Great Again With Americans Astronauts on Moon By 2024
BIG NEWS: President Trump and @VP Pence have directed @NASA to return astronauts to the Moon in the next 5 years.— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) March 26, 2019
Challenge accepted. Now let's get to work.https://t.co/MjcDSG6NLc pic.twitter.com/QqYofbKzOe
Calling the return to the moon an "all-hands mission," Pence's speech had a ring of intergalactic manifest destiny to it, indicating that the agency would use private rockets, like those built by SpaceX, if needed.
VP Pence says in speech @ NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center he wants American astronauts to return to the Moon in the next 5 yrs. Will "accelerate" beleaguered Space Launch System (NASA's next big rocket) to pull it off, but says NASA should use commercial rockets if necessary.— Sean O'Kane (@sokane1) March 26, 2019
"It is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the moon within the next five years," Pence said to light applause before citing a "major course correction for NASA" represented by this lunar endeavor.
The announcement comes as the United States prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission in July.
According to The Space Review, the cost of these moon jaunts – manned or unmanned – based on past missions won't be cheap: each of the six Apollo lunar landings cost $18 billion in today's dollars.