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NASA Says ‘This Time We Will Stay’, Wants to Send More Astronauts to the Moon

NASA is planning to take the “next giant leap in deep space exploration” as it looks to send astronauts to the moon who are able to stay there.

The space agency’s administrator, Jim Bridenstine, called for American firms to help develop human lunar landers – “reusable systems for astronauts to land on the moon” – as he said scientists had been given a mandate by President Donald Trump and Congress to return to the moon for the first time since 1972.

He said NASA was planning to send astronauts “to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond” and that it was “an exciting time to be leading America’s space programme”.

“As a lifelong NASA supporter, I am thrilled to be talking once again about landing humans on the moon,” he said, writing in online magazine OZY. “But to some, saying we’re returning to the moon implies we’ll be doing the same as we did 50 years ago.

“I want to be clear – that is not our vision. We are going to the moon with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than we ever thought possible. This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay.”

Mr Bridenstine said plans would get under way next week when industry partners visit NASA’s headquarters to talk about lunar landers, which could help maintain “a sustainable, human presence beyond Earth’s orbit”.

He said: “That starts with the Gateway – a lunar orbiting outpost designed to ensure the safe transit of astronauts to the lunar surface and back home again.

“The Gateway will be the home base for the first reusable human lunar lander system.”

The space agency has already set up agreements with nine firms to send cargo to the moon and hopes to design landers that can take astronauts back to the surface of Earth’s satellite.

NASA hopes to land astronauts on the moon once again “within the next decade”.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the moon in 1969. A total of 12 people have made the lunar landing, with the last two – Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt – making the journey in 1972.

Mr Bridenstine said: “More than two-thirds of Americans today were not even alive to witness the six successful Apollo moon landings, myself included.

“Extraordinary as they were, for many the lunar expeditions are facts from history books or stories told by older relatives.

“But unlike Apollo, this time we’re going to the moon to stay, and from there we’ll take the next giant leap in deep space exploration.”

Ajay Nair
Sky News

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NASA to return to the Moon by 2028 and make a sustainable colony

NASA is accelerating plans to return to the Moon by 2028 for the first time since 1972 and claim that they will be there ‘to stay’.

The aerospace agency’s head Jim Bridenstine said they plan to make the moon sustainable for humans so they can go back and forth regularly.

Commander Gene Cernan was the eleventh and last man to walk on the lunar surface during the Apollo 17 mission 47 years ago.

President Trump said in 2017 that he wants to return Americans to the lunar surface and establish a foundation there for an eventual mission to Mars.

As a way-station for trips to and from the lunar surface, NASA want to build a space station, dubbed Gateway, in the Moon’s orbit by 2026.

The plan is to have the next man on the moon by 2028 adding that it’s important that they get back ‘as fast as possible,’ he said at NASA’s Washington headquarters.

‘This time, when we go to the Moon, we’re actually going to stay. We’re not going to leave flags and footprints and then come home to not go back for another 50 years.

‘We’re doing it entirely different than every other country in the world. What we’re doing is, we’re making it sustainable so you can go back and forth regularly with humans.’

Although to make all this as process as quick as possible, Mr Bridenstine said that the agency wishes to work with private space companies.

Before humans return, NASA aims to land an unmanned vehicle on the Moon by 2024 and are now inviting bids from the private sector to build the probe.

They have pitched for ventures to build hardware, according to a document called the Broad Agency Announcement, a notice from the government that requests scientific proposals from private firms.

Continue Reading: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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Richard Branson to fly into space in JULY aboard his Virgin Galactic spaceship.

Richard Branson claims he wants to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his Virgin Galactic spaceship.

The British entrepreneur says that he hopes to make his first voyage
coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing in 1969.

He also claims that the spaceflight company are still on target to send
tourists into on short ‘suborbital’ flights by the end of next year.

Speaking at an event in Washington, he said: ‘My wish is to go up on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, that’s what we’re working on.’.

The American Apollo 11 mission landed on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20th, 1969.

British billionaire Richard Branson, pictured here, plans to travel to space within the next four or five months aboard his own Virgin Galactic spaceship. Virgin Galactic is one of two companies, along with Blue Origin, on its way to sending passengers into space 

Earlier this year, the 69-year-old said he is training hard for the mission, and told CBS that his ‘aim is to have the body of a 30-year-old’ when he goes to space.

Virgin Galactic is working along with Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s SpaceX company towards the same goal of being the first to send passengers into space ‘by 2020’ in a new type of race dubbed the ‘billionaire space race’.

The companies want to send people on these short suborbital flights, meaning they wouldn’t get high enough to orbit the earth.

Branson has previously announced dates for this first trip into space, though many have gone by without voyages happening.

In 2013, he declared on a radio station that a Virgin Galactic space flight will be on Christmas Day 2013, and he will be on board. ‘Maybe I’ll dress up as Father Christmas,’ he joked.

Christmas day 2013 came and went without this flight or a sighting of the billionaire in a Santa suit taking place.

In October 2017, he told a Finnish business conference that the craft would be in space in ‘about three months’.

Continue Reading: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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New mission to explore origins of the cosmos

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An artist’s impression of the SPHEREx spacecraft. 

NASA is planning to launch a new near-infrared space observatory that will collect data on 300 million galaxies.

Known as SPHEREx (Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer), the new spacecraft has been awarded $242 million in funds and will launch in 2023.

Its goal will be to help scientists gain a better understanding of how the universe evolved over time and to determine how common the core ingredients of life are in our own galaxy.

“This amazing mission will be a treasure trove of unique data for astronomers,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“It will deliver an unprecedented galactic map containing ‘fingerprints’ from the first moments in the universe’s history. And we’ll have new clues to one of the greatest mysteries in science: What made the universe expand so quickly less than a nanosecond after the big bang ?”

Source: Astronomy Now

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