Back To The Moon 3.0

Back to the Moon, Again: Will the Third Time Be the Charm?, Air & Space

"By coincidence, on the same day the White House formally announced that goal in December, a group of space historians and policy experts convened at the National Air and Space Museum to try to put the new lunar initiative into historical context. Overall, the mood was skeptical. Mark Albrecht, who had been President George H.W. Bush's space advisor during the days of the (aborted) Space Exploration Initiative in the early 1990s, and who watched George W. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration collapse more than a decade later, put it bluntly: "We are currently 0 for 2. The question before us now is, will we go 0 for 3?" Bridenstine meant to reassure contract hopefuls at NASA's Moon meeting that the answer is no. Appearing unwounded by the protracted battle over his Senate confirmation, he strode into the NASA Auditorium, delivered a few pointed remarks, then left the group to its work. "This will not be Lucy and the football again," he promised. "We are going to the Moon." Thomas Zurbuchen, who heads NASA's science office, reinforced the message that there will be no reversals, or even dawdling, this time. The agency intends to "go to the Moon fast," he said."

Report to Accompany House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2019 (PDF)

"Lunar Discovery and Exploration.-- The Committee supports the requested level of $218,000,000 for the Lunar Discovery and Exploration program, including $18,000,000 for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and $200,000,000 for the new Lunar Future initiative. The Committee directs that the new Lunar Future initiative follow the lunar science priorities established by decadal surveys and the National Research Council's Scientific Context for the Exploration of the Moon and collect data to address the strategic knowledge gaps important for human exploration of the Moon. The Committee anticipates additional reports from the Academies regarding NASA's plans for lunar science and exploration. The funds provided for moon exploration are intended to support a mix of commercial lunar payload services; science instrument development; small satellite development; and long-duration lunar rover development. These funds will support science payloads and instruments for Lunar lander missions such as those developed in partnership with the private sector as part of NASA's Lunar CATALYST program. These robotic missions will provide NASA with access to the lunar surface and allow for an affordable procurement of a variety of science and exploration payloads to prepare for future science and crewed Exploration Missions."

"Public-private partnerships.-- The Committee notes that Lunar Future funding is intended to support, in part, public-private partnerships to send exploration and science payloads to the Moon and will serve as an architecture foundation for both lunar surface and lunar orbit operations. The Committee understands that the commercial landers supported by this program will provide the first opportunity since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 to directly investigate the surface of the Moon. As part of this initiative and in concert with expertise within the Exploration Research and Technology account, NASA shall undertake risk reduction activities in support of large lunar lander technology maturation. Development of these landers is essential for human exploration of the Moon and beyond. The Committee notes that there is a robust private space industry with companies engaging in development of technologies that support NASA in its human and robotic exploration missions. The Committee expects NASA to engage in these public-private partnerships with U.S. commercial space companies to initiate the most expeditious possible development of a lunar lander for both the Moon and extensible applications to Mars missions. This includes development of hardware, propulsion, communications, and software necessary for a lunar landing vehicle with the ability to deliver 1,000 to 10,000 pounds of payload to the lunar surface. To the greatest extent practicable, NASA shall offer existing capabilities and assets at NASA Centers with lander expertise to support these partnerships. As part of the report directed in the administrative provisions of this bill, NASA shall provide an outline of missions and their intended launch cadence. NASA is encouraged to ensure that industry partners under the Lunar Future program exhibit inkind or other cost share investments so the program can meet its intended goals on time and within budget."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 15, 2018 8:18 PM.

Mark Geyer Is The New JSC Center Director was the previous entry in this blog.

Earth Science Community Seeks Assurances From Bridenstine is the next entry in this blog.

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