US space agency NASA could send a manned mission to the Moon could happen during US president Donald Trump’s first term in office, reports in the local media indicate.
Trump has been quite vocal about NASA’s role and how the space agency needs to focus on space projects and not on climate change projects and studies. Trump has been taking keen interest in space exploration and one of the projects that he is keen on is to get man back on the moon.
Reports indicate that Trump wants NASA to put a team of astronauts on the moon during his first term in office – probably within three years, by 2020.
President Trump, in his inauguration speech, vowed to unlock the mysteries of space. It may be noted that during the election campaign, Trump had asked NASA to focus on space exploration and not climate change.
The US space agency is currently building a jumbo rocket called the Space Launch System (SLS), an advanced launch vehicle for a new era of exploration beyond Earth’s orbit into deep space. SLS, which according to NASA is the world’s most powerful rocket, will launch astronauts in the Orion spacecraft on missions to asteroid and eventually to Mars.
Thus, NASA’s SLS will have the boost necessary to propel humans to the moon, Mars or other deep-space destinations.
With Trump showing a great interest in deep space missions, for NASA, this could come as a golden opportunity to strengthen its partnership with the private sector. Because creating human settlements on the Moon is one of the primary goals set by NASA and private companies.
Recently, NASA announced its plans to send humans to the moon by 2021 by teaming up with the European Space Agency (ESA).