NASA Dubs 2024 Moon Mission 'Artemis,' Asks for $1.6 Billion

Katie Ramirez
December 1, 2019

The newly accelerated goal - an endeavour likely to cost tens of billions of dollars - comes as NASA has struggled with the help of private partners to resume human space missions from USA soil for the first time since the shuttle program ended in 2011.

The Moon, "in its own little quiet way", is much more interesting, geologically, than we previously thought said Craig O'Neill, a planet tectonics expert from Macquarie University.

The LRO images also revealed surface features that support the theory that the Moon continues to be active. Whether it's symbolic or not, the moon is going to host the first woman.

In this November 1969 photo provided by NASA, Apollo 12 mission Commander Charles P. "Pete" Conrad stands on the moon's surface. This is where additional tidal stress from Earth's gravity causes a peak in the total stress on the moon's crust, making slippage along the thrust faults more likely.

It is now widely agreed that these are thrust faults, caused as the moon cools down from its hot birth. "Such a young age raises the intriguing possibility that these thrust faults are now active", says Watters and colleagues in their paper.

Most of the rest- $651 million - would go to SLS and Orion "to make sure they stay on track", Gerstenmaier said. The one billion dollars left over will be used to pay for the development of a commercial landing system to help take astronauts to the moon's surface.

The moonquakes detected in the 1960s and 70s shook the lunar surface with power the equivalent to magnitude two to five quakes back on Earth.

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Now though, researchers in the USA and Canada, have used a problem-solving computer program called a relocation algorithm to help determine whereabouts the waves may have struck from. At least eight of the quakes' centers lie within 30 kilometers of one of these fault scarps.

Watters said that "it's very likely that these eight quakes were produced by faults slipping as stress built up when the lunar crust was compressed by global contraction and tidal forces, indicating that the Apollo seismometers recorded the shrinking moon and the moon is still tectonically active". This, they say, all adds up to a strong case that fault movements are still occurring on the moon.

This accelerated timeline, however will undoubtedly be met with many challenges; just weeks ago NASA said it was on schedule to have humans on the moon by 2028 - a full four years later than the new target.

'Our #Moon2024 mission is being named after Artemis, who was a sister to Apollo and goddess of the Moon, ' Bridenstine tweeted ahead of the summit.

"We realized we weren't going to be so lucky as to get a bull's eye, even with the best performance of this algorithm and the quality of the data", Watters explains.

"I have a daughter, she's 11 years old, and I want her to see herself in the same position that our current, very diverse astronaut corps now sees itself, having the opportunity to go to the moon", Bridenstine said.

"This is a good out-of-the-gate first start, a very honest proposal from the administration that keeps us all together, moving forward", he said.

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