Trump and NASA Request More Than $1 Billion for Artemis Mission to Moon

Trump and NASA Request More Than $1 Billion for Artemis Mission to Moon

NASA officials on Monday evening unveiled an updated budget request to Congress, seeking more than $1 billion in additional funding to accelerate the return of astronauts to the moon by 2024.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, also said that the mission back to the moon would be called Artemis. In Greek mythology, Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, whose name was used by NASA for the series of spacecraft that first landed Americans on the moon in 1969.

But the revision is just a request, and decision makers in Congress must vote whether to back the Trump administration’s plan to race back to the lunar surface.

President Trump announced the proposed increase on Twitter.

Additional details were presented in a news conference by Mr. Bridenstine and other senior NASA officials.

NASA’s budget for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, is $21.5 billion. In March, the president’s original budget request for the 2020 fiscal year sought to cut spending on NASA by $500 million. It now is seeking to add $1.1 billion, a swing of $1.6 billion.

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The added money would include $651 million for the Space Launch System, the new large rocket NASA is developing, and the Orion capsule that would take astronauts to the moon and other deep-space destinations. NASA is also seeking $1 billion to begin development of a commercial landing system to take astronauts to the moon. That might be similar to the one revealed last week by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon and owner of the rocket company Blue Origin.

Part of that cost would be offset by scaling back and delaying plans for Gateway, an outpost in orbit around the moon.

NASA is also seeking $132 million for developing technologies like converting ice within craters at the moon’s poles to water and $90 million for robotic exploration of the moon.

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