A few months back, Donald Trump, the United States president has asked NASA to land humans on Moon by 2024. Trump administration believes that colonizing the moon is very crucial to achieve the ultimate aim of Mars colonization. But now, a NASA official has revealed that extended delays in finalizing the fiscal year 2020 budget for the agency could delay NASA's manned missions to the moon.
These remarks were made by Marshall Smith, director of human lunar exploration programs during a speech delivered at Maryland Space Business Roundtable luncheon on November 12, 2019.
"We've done everything we can to have everything in place, and at some point, we're going to need to award contracts. When we get to that point, there will be eventually implications to our launch dates if we can't do that," said Smith, Space News reports.
The NASA official also added that the space agency is now busy evaluating proposals submitted for the Human Landing Systems program. However, he did not reveal the exact number of proposals received by the space agency. He also made it clear that the agency will award contracts for lander studies by January 2020.
A few weeks back, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine had revealed that the upcoming Artemis lunar mission will be completed using modern technologies, and it will allow humans to visit the moon time and time again. As a part of the mission, the space agency will land robots on the moon, and finally humans before 2024. Bridenstine also added that a woman will land first on the moon as a part of the Artemis mission.
"Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo and a goddess of the Moon. And she now personifies our path forward in more ways than one. With the Artemis program, we will land the first woman and next man on the Moon," said Bridenstine.