NASA's next Moon mission in 2024 to cost 28 billion dollars
New Delhi : NASA on Monday announced its future Moon mission in which it will again send astronauts to the lunar surface at a total cost of 28 billion dollars, 16 billion dollars of it will be spent on the landing module of the mission.
Congress, which faces elections on November 3, will have to sign off on the financing for a project that has been set by US President Donald Trump as a top priority. The $28 billion would cover the budgetary years of 2021-25.
NASA has meanwhile acknowledged that the political risks are one of the major concerns for the mission, especially at a time when elections are just a couple of weeks away.
Barack Obama cancelled plans for a manned Mars mission, after his predecessor spent billions of dollars on the project.
If Congress approves the first tranche of $3.2 billion by Christmas, "we're still on track for a 2024 moon landing," NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.
"To be clear, we're going to the South Pole," he said, ruling out the sites of the Apollo landings on the Moon's equator between 1969 and 1972. "There's no discussion of anything other than that."
According to the known information, three projects are in the competition to construct the lander which will be carrying two astronauts, in which one will be a woman this time.
The first one is being developed by Blue Origin, founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. The other two projects are being undertaken by Elon Musk's SpaceX and by the company Dynetics.