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New bill could kill NASA?s Moon base plans

The US House of Representatives
the House Aeronautics and Space Subcommittee
the House Space and Science Committee
Trump administration
the US Senate’s

Tristan Greene
Jim Bridenstine
Donald Trump‘s
Elon Musk’s


the Moon to Mars Program

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The New York Times
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Among various other caveats, the bill would severely limit NASA‘s ability to conduct scientific research on the Moon in conjunction with civilian partners.Like a great price on TNW2020 ticketsThe full text of the bill is available here, but one particular passage has both NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine and the scientific community concerned:Lunar in-situ resource utilization shall not be considered as risk reduction for the initial crewed missions to orbit and land on Mars. Any lunar in-situ resource utilization activities and shall not be included in the Moon to Mars Program and shall be budgeted separately from the Moon to Mars Program.This passage, coupled with the budgetary allocations and general direction of the bill indicate that various Moon-specific research avenues could be considered ‘off the table’ if they don’t bear out a direct correlation to Mars habitation.A coalition of concerned scientists penned an open letter to NASA concerning the bill wherein they stated:The integration of lunar (and Martian) resource utilization is vital for the sustainable and cost-effective human space exploration program beyond Earth orbit, as it is critical that we learn to “live off the land” beyond the Earth Unfortunately, once again HR5666 restricts the use of the Moon to enable Mars, as well as restricting human activity on Mars.It appears that the Democrat-led House’s intent with these limitations is to put the brakes on President Donald Trump‘s Mars ambitions by repealing the current Moon landing deadline of 2024 (a crucial step on the way to Mars) and reinstating the original timeline of 2028.There are certainly pragmatic reasons to reassess NASA’s current time-frame for its Mars project, as directed by the Trump administration, but none of those should involve stalling the President’s potential glory as the first US leader to preside over a crewed-mission to Mars.

As said here by Tristan Greene