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Like Apollo, New Lunar Program ‘Will Transform and Elevate Human Condition,’ Says Bridenstine

May 14, 2019 (EIRNS)—The NASA Administrator made that comment during a Town Hall this afternoon from NASA Headquarters in Washington, with participation of the entire NASA workforce across the country. His remark was directed toward motivating agency employees to communicate why this program—just named Artemis, in Greek mythology, the twin sister of Apollo—is important, especially to Members of Congress, who will have to approve the $1.6 billion increase in NASA’s Fiscal 2020 budget, that the administration is requesting.

In his taped video message last night, Bridenstine said that the budget amendment adding $1.6 billion in FY20 to NASA’s budget, which has been sent to Congress, will enable accelerating the work on the major elements of the Moon landing.

In all of his presentations today, in addition to the Town Hall, at the Humans to Mars conference, and in testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Bridenstine stressed that with this increase, “we got out of the gate” and we are “just at the beginning” of realizing a manned lunar landing. And that this $1.6 billion requested increase is a “down payment” on a program that will require five years of support. This is the first time that a President announced a Moon-Mars plan, and actually requested the money to do it, Bridenstine said, in referring in contrast to both Bush Presidents.

Addressing employees who work in areas seemingly not relevant to landing humans on the Moon, who fear that their research will be cut in order to pay for the lunar program, Bridenstine outlined the way in which all of the branches of research in the agency, whether astrophysics or aeronautics, make a coherent whole, and help answer basic questions; like the Moon itself, which we will explore, but which also serves as the history book of the Solar System.

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