"The last person walked on the moon in 1972. No woman has ever walked on the lunar surface," said NASA's Communication Director, Bettina Inclán.
Last Monday, NASA's plan to send the first woman ever to the moon surfaced. NASA's Communication Director, Bettina Inclán, said only twelve humans have ever stepped foot on the moon and all of them were American males. Inclán told CNN, "The last person walked on the Moon in 1972." Continuing her statement she said, "No woman has ever walked on the lunar surface." According to this news outlet, this news comes after five decades where NASA will be sending the first woman ever along with the first man to the moon. They are planning to implement this project by 2024.
We are going to the Moon — to stay.— NASA (@NASA) May 14, 2019
We will build sustainable infrastructure to support missions to Mars and beyond. This is what we’re building. This is what we’re training for. We are going. #Moon2024 pic.twitter.com/dgL6NoZ2Rj
Donald Trump's recent decision to increase the agency's budget had a lot to do with the said plan. On April 13 Trump announced this increment via a tweet: "Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!" The hike in the budget comes after the initial $21 billion budget that NASA has requested for in order to speed up the project to go back to the moon.
Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine thanked the President publicly on Twitter which said: Big @NASA news! The President has submitted an FY2020 budget amendment that provides an increase of $1.6 billion for our #Moon2024 efforts. We are going. In this two minute and two seconds long video he mentioned, "This investment is a down payment on NASA's efforts and will allow us to move forward in design, development, and exploration." He ends the video with a promise, "We are going!"
Big @NASA news! The President has submitted an FY2020 budget amendment that provides an increase of $1.6 billion for our #Moon2024 efforts. We are going.— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 13, 2019
Watch the video I sent to the workforce: pic.twitter.com/7kG8h4msdC
NASA also announced that Trump has indeed challenged them to land successfully at the south pole of the moon by 2024. In the event of Trump's re-election as the President of America, he would be serving his last year just in time for the deadline. The current president also signed a Space Policy Directive 1, which allows NASA to send human beings to the moon which happened last in 1972. They will be sent there for "long-term exploration and use" and it includes missions to the other planets as well.
The agency also revealed Artemis, to be the name for this new mission. They chose to name it after the Greek goddess of the moon as she was also the twin sister of Apollo. As most of us know of the victory that NASA's Apollo 11 mission recorded as they landed the first humans on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, this name doesn't come as a surprise. In fact, they have chosen a very apt name for it.
Today, @POTUS signed Space Policy Directive 4 – bringing our nation 1 step closer to establishing the US Space Force. @POTUS Trump’s highest priority is the safety & security of the American people. Space is a warfighting domain just like the air, land, & sea. America must lead. pic.twitter.com/1aTNzzu1Mf— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 19, 2019
"Fifty years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man and first woman to the moon," announced Bridenstine during a press meeting. NASA also explained how they are planning the specifics to get the mission done by 2024. "To land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024, we are working through the acquisition approach for the various projects," they said. "Our efforts will include new work at NASA centers to provide the key technologies and scientific payloads needed for the lunar surface, adding to efforts already underway across the country."
NASA has decided to keep one billion dollars from the budget aside for the development of a commercial human lunar system that will facilitate transportation for humans to the surface of the moon. With the hope that this exploration of the moon would help the United States build a strategic presence in the space, NASA has outlined it this way. They also expect this strategy to help their country gain more international partnerships.
Also, an amount of $651 million will be used to specifically fund the Orion Spacecraft and the rocket that is being built by Boeing for this moon mission. It called the Space Launch System or SLS which has already delayed their given deadline which was in December 2017 and NASA has already spent nearly $11.9 billion towards it. In addition to this, NASA is hoping to inspire the future generation of scientists with their work.