The administration of the House Science Committee established a NASA authorization charge recently. It has the aim to considerably modify NASA’s current missions to send people to Mars rather than transport them to the Moon.
NASA Should Focus on Mars Over Moon
The charge, indicated H.R. 5666 and presented by Rep.Kendra Horn, director of the committee’s space subcommittee, wants to display a human come back to the Moon within the context of a bigger “Moon to Mars” schedule. It wouldn’t have the desire of returning people to the Moon’s ground by 2021, according to Vice President Pence.
The charge reads: “The Moon to Mars program shall have the interim goal of sending a crewed mission to the lunar surface by 2028 and a goal of sending a crewed mission to orbit Mars by 2023.”
NASA, on the other hand, had some projects under development for returning to the Moon, but it needs first a lunar Gateway in orbit close to the Moon. Such a plan would act as a presentation place for journeys to the lunar ground. The charge would alternatively name that the “Gateway to Mars,” and let it be based away in cislunar space. Moreover, the Gateway would not be needed to help lunar arrivals.
NASA’s Current Plans
Back in September 2019, NASA asked for some plans for its Human Landing System project, where the space agency would assist the evolution of one or two commercial landers, purchasing landing systems from those companies.
While companies got the choice of not utilizing the Gateway for a first landing, the Artemis 3 2024 project, that the space agency explained how the Gateway would finally be used to combine lunar lander components. So, the charge would guide NASA to obtain a “full ownership” of a lunar lander rather than purchase services from companies.