NASA Administrator and 2019 Wash100 Award recipient Jim Bridenstine said that the agency would seek $20 billion to $30 billion over the next five years to support the mission for humans to return to the moon, CNN reported Friday. Congress hasn’t approved aÂ final budget estimate from the agency for the lunar project.Â
“We’re negotiating within the administration,” he told the publication. “Once we come to a determination within the administration we will of course take that over to the Hill and make sure that our members of Congress are interested and willing to support that effort.”
The mission, called Artemis, aims to bring two astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024 and establish a “sustainable” presence, where humans can conduct a series of manned missions on the moon.Â CriticsÂ expressed concern that NASA may not secure the estimated funding due to congressional opposition.
Some officials said that the agency could end up taking funds from other programs, such as Earth science and climate studies, to support Artemis. However, Bridenstine noted NASA will not âcannibalizeâ its programs to fund the moon mission. He also expressed confidence that the agency would get bipartisan support and secure enough funding.Â