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Bridenstine Set to Announce NASA Plan for Moon Exploration

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a 2019 Wash100 winner, will announce the agency’s initial plan to bring astronauts back to the surface of the moon by 2024, Space News reported Tuesday.

The plan is currently under development, which originally aimed to make the next manned lunar mission in 2028. 

“What we’re doing right now is trying to assess very quickly what would be required to achieve the end state of boots on the moon in 2024,” Bridenstine said. “The plan is all there. A lot of the pieces of the architecture are already there. We’re just going to have to pull a number of them forward.”

NASA intends to work with the White House in finalizing the plan to have a “consolidated position from the administration” before delivering it to Congress.

The space agency is also considering commercial options to achieve the 2024 goal. NASA is considering United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 Heavy and the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket as potential alternatives to the Space Launch System if the development encounters future delays. 

Bridenstine said NASA would seek additional funding to support the plan.

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