NASA is planning to send the first woman to the moon by 2024 as President Trump announced this week he is increasing the agency’s budget by over $1 billion.
According to Bettina Inclán, NASA Communications Director, all 12 people who have walked the moon so far have been American males, CNN reported.
“The last person walked on the Moon in 1972. No woman has ever walked on the lunar surface,” Inclán told CNN in a statement.
Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2019
President Trump made the announcement on May 13, saying $1.6 billion will be added to NASA’s budget, restoring it to “greatness.”
“Under my Administration, we are restoring NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars,” Trump tweeted.
“I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”
The $1.6 billion budget increase comes as an additional boost to NASA’s original request of $21 billion to help complete Trump’s challenge for the agency to land at the south pole of the moon by 2024.
NASA’s Apollo 11 mission successfully landed the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969.
NASA plans on landing the first woman on the moon by 2024. The mission will be called Artemis, named after the Greek goddess of the moon and twin sister of Apollo. Only 12 people have ever walked the surface of the moon and they were all American men. https://t.co/7apQCf07lt
— WSVN 7 News (@wsvn) May 14, 2019
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “Fifty years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man and first woman to the moon.”
“This investment is a down payment on NASA’s efforts and will allow us to move forward in design, development, and exploration.”
Watch the video I sent to the workforce: pic.twitter.com/7kG8h4msdC
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 13, 2019
“Our goal here is to build a program that gets us to the moon as soon as possible. In the coming years, we will need additional funds,” he told reporters on a telephone conference call on May 14.
“But this is a good amount that gets us out of the gate in a very strong fashion.”
Bridenstine wrote on Twitter, “Big NASA news! The President has submitted an FY2020 budget amendment that provides an increase of $1.6 billion for our #Moon2024 efforts. We are going.”
The increased funding request, comes almost two months after Vice President Mike Pence declared the objective of shortening by four years NASA’s previous timeline for putting astronauts back on the moon for the first time since 1972.
SPACE: NASA plans to land the first American woman on the moon by 2024. The new program called Artemis would mark the first humans on the moon since the Apollo missions. Artemis is aptly named — since she is the goddess of the moon and twin sister of Apollo.
— CNN Newsource (@CNNNewsource) May 14, 2019
The proposed increase would bring NASA’s total spending level for the 2020 fiscal year to $22.6 billion. The bulk of the increase is earmarked for research and development of a human lunar landing system, according to a summary provided by NASA.
NASA also announced the name of the new mission will be Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon and Apollo’s twin sister.
NASA’s 2024 moon mission will be called Artemis (after Apollo’s sister), says @JimBridenstine. Partly because she’s the goddess of the moon, and partly because it is intended to put the first woman on the lunar surface.
— Leah Crane (@DownHereOnEarth) May 13, 2019
“To land American astronauts on the Moon by 2024, we are working through the acquisition approach for the various projects,” said NASA in a statement.
“Our efforts will include new work at NASA centers to provide the key technologies and scientific payloads needed for the lunar surface, adding to efforts already underway across the country.”
$651 million of the budget has been allowed for a new large rocket NASA is developing named the Space Launch System, as well as the Orion capsule to take astronauts to deep-space destinations and to the moon.
Reuters contributed to this report.