NASA chooses Maxar for lunar platform project

A brilliant full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017.                  NASA  Kim Shiflett

A brilliant full moon rises at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2017. NASA Kim Shiflett

Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed that Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission around the Moon planned for 2020.

Nasa needs an additional $1.6bn next year if they are to stand any chance of getting humans to the moon again by 2024, as the United States president, Donald Trump, has requested.

NASA plans to return humans to the Moon by 2024, for the first time since the Apollo program ended in 1972. In 2024, astronauts will stop there en route to the Moon.

"As a result of Artemis, NASA will be able to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 to uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements, and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy", NASA's website reads.

Last week, the Trump administration asked Congress to increase NASA's spending next year by $1.6 billion as a "down payment" on the accelerated goal of landing Americans back on the moon by 2024, more than half a century after the end of the U.S. Apollo lunar program. A new Science Channel series, TRUTH BEHIND THE MOON LANDING, will dissect the most popular conspiracy claims surrounding the iconic moon landing with the help of former NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin, Iraq War veteran and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Chad Jenkins and best-selling author, Mike Bara. "2024 is right around the corner". The SEP design is also capable of being extended for other missions, including Mars exploration. According to NASA, solar electric propulsion uses solar cells and an ion drive to move the attached habitat systems to various points in lunar orbit. Following the completion of the power and propulsion element, habitation, logistics and airlock capabilities will be added.

The Committee on Wednesday revealed the funding bill was approved and NASA would be funded to the tune of $22.32 billion, but that additional cash will not be funnelled into lunar lander development and instead go into other NASA programmes unrelated to the Moon mission, CNET reported.

Maxar will work on the first segment (the power and propulsion element) of NASA's Gateway outpost.

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