NASA Seeks Support From Car Manufacturers To Design The New Lunar Rover

Katie Ramirez
February 12, 2020

The White House on Monday asked Congress for $25.2 billion for NASA in 2021, the agency's biggest budget in decades, calling for steady increases over five years to meet President Donald Trump's goal of landing astronauts on the moon and Mars.

A key goal is to find ice on the moon that could provide water and even fuel to support deep space missions.

"If we can place a rover spacecraft near the landing area before the Crew arrives on the Moon, the potential for scientific return increases exponentially", said Marshall Smith, director of lunar exploration programs at NASA Headquarters Human Research and Mission Operations. said.

Though Boeing remains NASA's prime contractor for the development and construction of the Space Launch System, Bridenstine insisted that the design and production of the heavy-lift, multistage rocket has involved contributions from hundreds of companies - small, medium and large - from all over the country. NASA will land space explorers on the Moon by 2024 on the Artemis III strategic about once per year from thereon. For these purposes, the White House proposes $ 3.4 billion for NASA to develop landing systems, $ 700 million for lunar surface activities and $ 233 million for Mars robotic missions.

NASA's budget for fiscal year 2020 was $22.6 billion.

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Additionally included within the request are $175 million for spacesuits for use by astronauts on the floor of the Moon, together with $212 million for rovers that shall be used for transportation.

However, despite the proposal, the White House may find it hard to garner approval from Congress for the cuts. The agency needs the help of the global automotive industry for the transportation of its astronauts. Next up would be on 2022, Artemis II, the first maintained flight trial of the Space Launch System Orion, is focused for dispatch in 2022.

As part of the White House proposal, NASA does not receive funding for its Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope, the Office of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or STEM. "We support a robust approach to the development of platforms and capabilities that will begin at the Moon and extend to Mars", said Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, president & CEO of the Coalition. The space is central to the "national security and defense of the United States", president Donald Trump said previous year, and it is "the next domain of war".

Update 1:56 p.m. PT: Add more details of NASA's budget documents.

Administrator Jim Bridenstine shared the news that the president's budget proposal includes $25 billion for NASA to further its missions to the moon and Mars.

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