Published: Sat, March 30, 2019
Research | By Raquel Erickson

US Vice President Outlines Ambitious Return to the Moon

US Vice President Outlines Ambitious Return to the Moon

He criticized the delay of NASA's new-generation heavy lift rocket, saying it is being plagued by "bureaucratic inertia".

"Urgency must be our watch word". President Trump issued the Area Coverage Directive 1, calling upon NASA to return astronauts to the Moon, in December 2017. "Just as the United States was the first nation to reach the Moon in the 20th Century, so too, we will be the first nation to return astronauts to the Moon in the 21st Century". But NASA supporters say this is a good sign. Since Apollo astronauts last walked on the moon in 1972, no country has made a serious attempt to send humans back to the lunar surface. "It's time for the next giant leap", Mr Pence said, alluding to the words spoken by the first Moonwalker Neil Armstrong in 1969. "Would be great to have a competitive, commercial program to build a Moon base that is outcome-oriented (not cost-plus), so you only get paid for safe delivery of cargo", Musk said.

But on Tuesday, he expressed confidence that the SLS, or Space Launch System, would be ready for the job.

"The people at the space council are smart people, and they would not set a date like that without some sense that it was possible", he told "It shouldn't take us 11 years to get back".

Vice President Mike Pence waves from Air Force Two as he arrives in Huntsville to chair the fifth National Space Council meeting held at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Huntsville, Ala.

"This was not done casually", said space policy expert John Logsdon, a professor emeritus of political science and worldwide affairs at The George Washington University's Elliott School of global Affairs in Washington, D.C.

Vice President Mike Pence has called on NASA to accelerate its human spaceflight efforts with the aim of returning to the Moon by 2024. "If our current contractors can't meet this objective, then we will find ones that will", Pence said.

"The moon is a truly outstanding target, both for science and for getting our exploration legs back before we set out to further destinations like Mars", Stern wrote in an email. All Points, a resident of the research park for 10 years, has added 12,000 square feet to include additional executive offices to accommodate support staff to better serve All Point's Redstone Arsenal and NASA customers.

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