Today, a member of Congress grilled representative from NASA talked about the agency’s failure for not mapping out a plan to getting back to the moon within five years. NASA mission was supposed to be ready by the mid-April but the officials said they need a couple of weeks more until the details are finalized and delivered.
On 26th March, during a speech at a meeting of the National Space Council Vice President Mike Pence challenged NASA to return humans to surface of the moon by 2024. NASA mission for a first human landing on the lunar surface was by 2028, but with this announcement, it marked a very significant change in deadlines for NASA.
Pence said that the firm has a plan to accelerate the landings on the moon, but Pence didn’t reveal those details. On April 2nd, Bridenstine told the House Science Committee that NASA is making an amendment to the presidential budget request which would include the estimated cost and a detailed plan for meeting the deadline of administration challenge.
Now its been almost three weeks since the deadline, today, the member of the House science committee were quite annoyed over the fact that the amendment is not ready yet.
“The lack of planning evidence so far is no way to run our nation’s human space exploration program,” Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) said during a hearing of the committee on NASA’s deep space exploration plans. “The 2024 missive left NASA in a tizzy scrambling to develop a plan and hastening to pull together a budget amendment that still has not been delivered to Congress.”
Horn wanted to know why the amendment is not prepared in today’s hearing.
“We recognize that this is a really serious challenge we have to weigh in front of us, and we need a really solid plan,” William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and an expert at today’s hearing, explained. He added: “We need to make sure it’s all integrated and all put together in a way that really makes sense.”
However, Gerstenmaier said that the amendment has to further approved by the White House, which is also the reason for delay. But he claimed that the details would be ready soon.