Latest in Gear

Image credit: NASA/Handout via Reuters

VP Pence wants US astronauts back on the Moon by 2024

There's one problem: the budget might not be there for it.
799 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

NASA/Handout via Reuters

Apparently, plans to put US astronauts on the Moon by the late 2020s weren't ambitious enough. Vice President Pence announced at the National Space Council that the US now planned to return people to the Moon by 2024, about four years earlier than expected. He argued that the US "must remain first in space" this century for the sake of the economy, national security and writing the "rules and values of space" by establishing a more permanent presence.

Pence agreed that the timeline was short but maintained that it was possible, pointing to the Apollo 11 landing as an example of how quickly the US can move when it's motivated. He suggested that it might require using private rockets if the Space Launch System isn't ready in time.

There's one main problem with the plans: it's not clear the money is there to make this happen. Although the proposed fiscal 2020 budget did increase NASA's funding slightly to $21 billion, astrophysicist Katie Mack noted that it would represent a much smaller fraction of the federal budget than the Apollo program represented in the 1960s. While the federal budget has clearly grown over the decades, so have the costs of space travel -- the government may need to spend a lot more if it's going to make its target.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
799 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop' production pauses after John Cho is injured on-set

Netflix's 'Cowboy Bebop' production pauses after John Cho is injured on-set

View
Nike puts an accessibility twist on its iconic Air Jordan 1

Nike puts an accessibility twist on its iconic Air Jordan 1

View
Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes

Alphabet’s Wing starts drone deliveries to US homes

View
Boeing messages hint staff may have misled FAA about 737 Max

Boeing messages hint staff may have misled FAA about 737 Max

View
Judge refuses to block the release of ‘The Laundromat’ on Netflix

Judge refuses to block the release of ‘The Laundromat’ on Netflix

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr