Monday, 10 August, 2020


Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary: Everything that happened in 1969

NASA unseals moon rock collection for the first time in decades Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary: Everything that happened in 1969
Kristine Garrett | 13 July, 2019, 20:42

Instead, Bridenstine said, Gerstenmaier will serve as special assistant to NASA's Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard.

"As you know, NASA has been given a bold challenge to put the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024, with a focus on the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars", Bridenstine's email said.

Gerstenmaier was ousted from his role hours after he testified before Congress on the future of the International Space Station and plans for low-Earth orbit. After completing the exploration of the Moon, the two astronauts went back to the command and service module.

Ken Bowersox, a former NASA astronaut and agency official, will take Gerstenmaier's place as the head of human exploration.

At the time, NASA's Moon to Mars page still listed 2028 as the target for putting astronauts on the moon. "Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities", Bridenstine said in a memo to employees at the time.

Several lawmakers, including Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who chairs the House Science, Space and Technology; and Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), chair of the House subcommittee on space and aeronautics; criticized the decision to reassign Gerstenmaier.

In June Bridenstine told CNN Business NASA will need an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion besides NASA's current budget over the next five years for its Artemis moon project.

Bridenstine said the move is meant to help meet the challenge of landing humans on the moon by 2024, a deadline set by the Trump administration.

The high-profile executive changes at NASA came at a time when the space agency is working on the new moonshot program named Artemis. "If NASA's not now capable of landing American astronauts on the moon in five years, we need to change the organization, not the mission".

The new timeline gives NASA only five years to acquire the hardware and funds it needs.

Nasa is preparing to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, which saw Commander Neil Armstrong become the first person to step onto the lunar surface.

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