NASA to Send First Woman to Moon in 2024

Photo Credit: Soumen Maity/Pexels

NASA is planning to send a woman to the moon for the first time ever.

The space agency unveiled its Artemis Plan last month, which includes explanations for their first lunar mission since 1972. Their hope is to send another man — and the first woman — to the moon in 2024. 

“Sending human explorers 250,000 miles to the Moon, then 140 million miles to Mars, requires a bold vision, effective program management, funding for modern systems development and mission operations, and support from all corners of our great nation as well as our partners across the globe,” reads the plan’s introduction, which added that the agency has been working hard to fine-tune their moon exploration efforts.

While the Artemis plan has many moving parts and involves several missions over the course of four years, it is “focused on achieving the goal of an initial human landing by 2024 with acceptable technical risks, while simultaneously working toward sustainable lunar exploration in the mid- to late 2020s.”

Artemis 1, NASA’s first modern lunar mission, will launch in 2021 without astronauts while Artemis II is slated to fly in 2023 with a crew. The plan’s third mission, Artemis III, will hopefully land a woman and a man on the moon in 2024.

They explain in the plan that their decision to send people to the moon in 2024 is the “most ambitious date possible, and our success at the Moon, and later, at Mars, will be grounded in our national goals and robust capabilities.”

The ambitious plan comes at a steep cost. The agency says the program will “cost $28 billion through fiscal 2025, including $7.6 billion for the huge Boeing-managed Space Launch System rockets, ground systems, and Lockheed Martin Orion crew capsules that will carry astronauts to and from the moon,” as per CBS.

Additionally, another $16.2 billion is needed on top of those costs to “develop, test, and launch the new moon landers the program is depending on to carry astronauts to the lunar surface.”

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