50 years ago this year we went to the Moon and walked around….and after a few more visits the US decided not to spend any more energy and money on visits to the Moon.
And then just days ago……our VP, Mike Pence, said that he wanted the US to return to the Moon in 5 years……
Pence, who serves as chairman of the National Space Council, delivered the remarks during the body’s fifth meeting in Alabama on Tuesday. He said the country is once again in a space race against “adversaries” like Russia and China.
“The first woman and the next man on the moon will both be American astronauts launched by American rockets from American soil,” Pence said at the meeting.
He said that President Donald Trump agrees with the goal. In 2017, Trump issued Space Policy Directive 1, which called on NASA to put American astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972.
Pence added that the astronauts will walk on the moon’s south pole, which might host reservoirs of ice.
NASA needs new urgency and focus to meet the challenge, Pence said. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency will do everything in its power to meet that deadline.
Apparently Pence was echoing the words of JFK….but there is a slight problem with the VP’s chest thumping about the Moon…..
The rocket that will be used to go back to the Moon is the problem……
NASA has been toiling away on a monster rocket for the past eight years — but how much action the skyscraper-size Space Launch System will see once it’s completed is now anybody’s guess.
Designed to send humans and almost 60,000 pounds of cargo to the moon and perhaps beyond, the SLS will be bigger and more powerful than any rocket since the Saturn V behemoth that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon 50 years ago. NASA has said the rocket will send Americans back to the lunar surface as early as 2024, with an uncrewed test flight tentatively scheduled for 2020.
But the orange-and-white rocket has fallen three years behind schedule — and is way over budget. Almost $17 billion has been spent so far on the space vehicle, which was projected to cost $10.6 billion when its construction was approved in 2011. Experts say each SLS flight will cost at least $1 billion, or about 11 times more than SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which made its debut last year.
Pence is learning the same lesson that “What-his-name” has had to learn……saying does not make it so.
One day these “people” will learn to put brain in gear before driving off at the mouth.
And under the media radar was the expansion of the bureaucracy……and the spending of more taxpayer money…..the Space Development Agency….
The newly established Space Development Agency promises to chart the first steps of a “comprehensive architecture” to address eight critical defense priorities by the end of September, the organization’s director said here Tuesday.
Fred Kennedy, who comes to the fledgling SDA from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, aims to present a fuller picture of what that architecture should look like to Pentagon leadership by the end of the fiscal year. If all goes well, the SDA would develop, buy, and deploy its first assets on orbit, along with ground segments, no later than 2022.
Idle promises can be expensive…..and the taxpayer will shoulder the price.