Senate Appropriations Committee Sticks a Fork in NASA’s 2024 Moon Landing Plan

Artemis Gateway (Credit: Thales Alenia Space/Briot)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

It looks as if the Trump Administration’s goal of landing astronauts on the moon in 2024 is expiring at about the same time as the administration itself. The fatal blow is being struck by Congress, not the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

The Senate Appropriations Committee has released a fiscal year 2021 funding bill that includes $1 billion for NASA to Human Landing System (HLS) that will take astronauts to and from the lunar surface as part of the Artemis program. The amount is far short of the $3.2 billion that NASA has said is needed for HLS to keep the 2024 landing on schedule.

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India Nears Decision on Human Spaceflight Program

Mockup of India's human spacecraft (Credit: ISRO)

This could be the week that ISRO gets formal approval of its plan to send astronauts into space. Express News Service reports:

The Rs 12,000-crore [$2.6 billion] project is yet to be cleared by the government despite the fact that ISRO has submitted the feasibility report. Officials are hopeful that the government will clear the proposed project in which the space agency intends to put two people into space orbit for seven days.

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