NASA has taken a significant step toward human landings on the Moon
Monday February 11, 2019. 03:18 PM , from Ars Technica
NASA has new plans for how it will land humans on the Moon. [credit:
For two years, the Trump administration has made various noises about returning humans to the Moon. There have been bill signings with Apollo astronauts such as Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmitt. Vice President Mike Pence has traveled to NASA facilities around the country to make speeches. And the president himself has mused about the Moon and Mars.
However, beyond talk of returning humans to the Moon, much of the country's civil space policy and budgeting priorities really hadn't changed much until late last week. On Thursday, NASA released a broad agency announcement asking the US aerospace industry for its help to develop large landers that, as early as 2028, would carry astronauts to the surface of the Moon.
The new documents contain a trove of details about how the agency expects to send people back to the Moon with what it calls a 'Human Landing System.' This activity, the documents state, 'will once again establish US preeminence around and on the Moon. NASA is planning to develop a series of progressively more complex missions to the lunar surface, utilizing commercial participation to enhance US leadership.'
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