Vice President Pence announced that the first female on the planet Earth to land on the moon is from the United States. And he puts the route in the window of Nasa.
The US government wants to bring astronauts back to the moon within five years. On the orders of President Donald Trump, the “official policy” is that the first woman and the next man on the moon should be astronauts from the US, said Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday in a speech in Huntsville, Alabama.
At the same time, Pence sharply criticized the US space agency NASA, which he accused of “bureaucratic clumsiness”. The next humans on the moon would launch US rockets from the US to the Earth satellite, said Pence. Most recently, in 1972, humans landed on the moon. The next manned mission was originally scheduled for 2028. The development of the new launch vehicle SLS had been delayed, the first test flight was recently postponed to the year 2021.
Pence accused Nasa in his speech of “paralysis through analysis” that led to delays in the SLS rocket. He called for a “new mentality” in the space agency.
Pence also threatened to resort to private space companies for the next moon mission: “If commercial rockets are the only way to bring American astronauts to the moon in the next five years, then it will be commercial rockets.”
Pence urged his speech in a hurry. A failure of the five-year target was “not an option”. He referred to the competition of China in space and the landing of a Chinese robot on the back of the moon. As in the 1960s, the United States is in a “race,” except that today the “challenges are bigger.”
Washington had discontinued its space shuttle program in 2011. Since then, US astronauts have only been able to reach the International Space Station ISS with Russian Soyuz rockets. The contract with Russia expires in November 2019.