Washington, D.C, IDN Times – NASA finally chose the SpaceX company to implement a space-building project that aims to get humans to the Moon this decade. The contract value is estimated at US $ 2.8 billion or equivalent to Rp.40.6 trillion. How did the story start?
1. Another goal is to get people of color to land on the Moon
Reporting from BBC, NASA will build a spacecraft project that will bring the next man and the first woman to the surface of the Moon under the Artemis program, which is a program from NASA. Another goal of this program is to get people of color to land on the Moon. According to the head of the Human Exploration Organization, Kathy Lueders, said with this award, NASA and its partners will complete the first crewed demonstration mission to the lunar surface in the 21st century as the agency takes a step forward for women’s equality and long-term space exploration.
He also added that this critical step puts humanity on a path to sustainable exploration of the Moon and continues to oversee missions further into the Solar System. The Artemis program, a program that began during the administration of then President of the United States, Donald Trump, is targeting a return to the lunar surface by 2024. However, the lack of funds for the landing system has rendered this goal unattainable.
2. Recently, NASA has been interested in choosing more than one company
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Recently, NASA has selected more than one company when it comes to space transportation services by providing options if one of them fails to deliver. However, NASA only received 850 million US dollars, the equivalent of Rp.12.3 trillion of the US $ 3.3 billion, or the equivalent of Rp.47.9 trillion requested from Congress to build a spacecraft to the Moon. In a statement, Lueders said that while the agency remains intent on preserving a competitive environment at this stage of the Human Landing System (HLS) program, its current budget prevents them from selecting the two companies, as expected.
The decision caused quite a stir in the United States Congress. NASA is undergoing a transition in power following Joe Biden’s election as President of the United States and the agency is run by a caretaker administrator, and Biden’s choice to run the agency, Bill Nelson (a former senator and astronaut), will appear at a confirmation hearing next week. Eddie Bernice Johnson said he was disappointed that NASA leadership officials decided to make consequential awards before the arrival of NASA’s new permanent administrator and deputy administrator, said Congressman who is a member of the House of Representatives for Science, Space and Technology.
3. Biden has supported Trump’s plans for the Moon mission
Biden has supported plans that began during the Trump administration to send humans to the Moon. However, while Trump promised a human delivery to the Moon by 2024, the timetable was deemed unrealistic after Congress did not provide the financing it received and NASA is currently re-evaluating the schedule. NASA officials suggested that budget constraints, Congress in the current fiscal year allocate only about a quarter of the financing that had been requested for the development of the lander, shape their decision.
In addition to the mission to the Moon, NASA is targeting the South Pole region on the Moon for the first landing with an astronaut since last 1972. The region already contains large amounts of water ice deposits, which can be converted into rocket fuel and breathable air to support future lunar bases.
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