Jim Bridenstine, the new head of NASA has defended the space agency’s directive to send the astronauts to the moon again before sending them off to Mars. He said that this would be a step towards becoming the first country to send humans to Mars at the humans to Mars summit in Washington D.C on 9th May. But it didn’t reveal about humans being sent to Mars by the space agency. Jim said that the main focus for the coming years is not the moon. He added that they are doing both the mars and moon mission in tandem.
According to Bridenstine the return to the moon will allow them to advance technologies like landing systems, orbital habitation, methane engines, surface habitation, surface mobility, life support operations for long durations and many more that will make America the first country to put humans in the red planet. This will help the Mars exploration in future.
Short-term plans for looking signs of habitable conditions in Mars include the Mars 2020 rover. It is the vehicle of the size of a car planned to be launched around August 2020.
Chairman of the space subcommittee of the Senate commerce committee, Senator Ted Cruz said at the summit that the first foot to be set at the surface of the red planet will be an American foot. He wants to restore America’s leadership in space. While Bridenstine’s nomination was quite controversial, Ted assured that space is one of the areas where the parties worked together. He added that he feels proud to be a Texan due to the involvement of the state in space programs.
The launch of Insight Lander by NASA is a proof that the agency is paving the path for humans to mars slowly. The government is also keen to fuel the process along with its commercial partners.