Americans believe that humans will embark on the surface of Mars in 2033. Parliamentarians waved them in front of scientists, space managers, and astronauts, and hoped that these people would realize this desire.
But under the Trump administration's latest space policy, NASA will first put humans on the moon for a second time before sending them to Mars. Just don't expect any bumper stickers to advertise it, at least not yet. Jim Bridenstine, NASA's new director, said last week: "in the end, we want to be able to put humans on the surface of the moon, but I don't have a timetable yet."
A few days ago, Brundenstine held a one-hour roundtable meeting with more than a dozen reporters to outline the NASA mission to the moon. This meeting marks the first official meeting with the media since he was sworn in as secretary in April. In the next few years, Brundenstine did have a timetable for the moon plan. He said: "We hope to send robots and lunar vehicles to the surface of the moon in 2019. The latest will not exceed 2020."
These machines will be manufactured by commercial space companies, not NASA. Brundenstin warned that this practice may lead to some losses. He said: "It is important to remember that we are moving fast and we are commercializing. Some plans may fail. If we have more than a dozen companies involved, we must work hard and get close to the goal. It would be great! There are 6 companies involved, of which 3 can be successful, it also means a huge victory. Even if these companies have failed, NASA can still use their achievements, this is still a victory. We want to reach the surface of the moon as soon as possible. , Even with the help of commercial robotics, small road vehicles."
After that, NASA will send out spacecraft capable of excavating materials on the moon's surface. Then, at some point, NASA will send astronauts to the moon. This is where humans have never set foot since 1972. Lack of a worthy goal can be disappointing, especially for moon scientists and advocates who are eager to re-emphasize the importance of the moon. Setting a final public deadline for a space program is beneficial in many ways: it can increase internal discipline, unite all segments of the scientific community, and gain encouragement and inspiration from the public who pay for it.
But the deadline for space exploration missions is also notoriously fickle. They may have stagnated without progress. They may be changed. They may be abandoned by a certain president or they may be reset by another president. At the same time, we hardly did anything to help realize them. For the past eight years, NASA has been promoting the United States’ journey to Mars. Various missions deep into space, regardless of whether they are related to this goal, have been touted as a step toward humanity toward Mars. But there is no clear timetable, let alone a specific plan. NASA officials often appear on Capitol Hill to inform parliamentarians that they need more resources and more guidance to begin planning specific details of the Mars mission.
Now, with the White House setting a goal for NASA to return to the moon, the U.S. space program may find itself embarking on a multi-year public advocacy and discussion tour similar to Mars, but it has not taken any action. . Maybe the moon target looks more feasible because we've been there before. But the United States no longer has the technology to perform complex robotic tasks on the moon, let alone bring humans to it. In addition, NASA did not have the momentum of the Apollo era, which was driven by ideological wars that allowed humans to board the moon in a relatively short period of time.
The United States has spent nearly a decade discussing the Mars project, but has done little to fund and develop a real plan. Will the United States do the same thing on the moon mission? As soon as President Trump took office, the Moon priority policy was brewing. The plans mark a major shift in the space policy of former US President Barack Obama. Obama's space policy involves plans for human activities on the moon, but these efforts are part of a test mission to Mars, not the basis for a long-term outpost on the moon. John Logsdon, a space policy expert and historian, once said: "this is a 180-degree shift, from no moon to moon priority."
In February 2017, internal documents prepared by NASA’s presidential transition team showed that the president will lead the Americans to return to the moon as early as 2020, or at least return to the moon’s orbit. Rumors about the transfer of mission objectives lasted for months. In December of that year, the rumors became a policy. President Trump signed a decree calling on the U.S. government to return to the moon with the help of private companies. Trump said: "This is the first time that American astronauts have returned to the moon since 1972. It is also the first step in long-term exploration and use. This time, we not only want to put the American flag on the moon, leaving us behind. The footprint will also lay the foundation for the final mission of Mars. Maybe one day we will reach more planets."
This year, the Trump administration put forward more details on these exploration ambitions that focus on the moon landing. In the presidential budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year announced in February this year, the Trump administration renamed the "Low Earth Orbital Platform" proposed by the "Obama Times" to the Deep Space Gateway. The former’s main goal is for astronauts to use the platform on their way to Mars, which is also known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. The government hopes to prepare for the moon for humans by 2023.
In May, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rosssaid the moon would become "a gas station", a refueling point for rocket ships before they quickly enter space, and that "rapid progress" would be made over the next decade. Moon priority does not mean that all moon-centric NASA programs are safe. In April, the agency cancelled its sole mission to the lunar surface robot.
The so-called "Resource Prospector" is a carDevelopmentFor the past 10 years, a small rover has been designed to find and dig material at the poles of the moon. The previous exploration mission showed that water ice exists at the two poles of the moon. The decision to cancel the project may be earlier than Brendan Austin's inauguration time, but as the new director of NASA, he had to be responsible. A number of lunar scientists, engineers and other staff members wrote to Brendan Austin to protest the cancellation of the plan.
Braddenstein replied: “We are committed to the exploration of the moon, and the “Resources Explorer” will continue to advance on the extended moon surface mission. We will send more landing vehicles to conduct more explorations in a more scientific way. And looking for more business partner support! To explore planets or stars, we must start with the moon and use less internal technology."
The bumper sticker also appeared on Mars at a previous round table with reporters held by Bradenstein. On Capitol Hill, the stickers come from Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmut of Colorado. Permut's office staff designed the stickers themselves, and the congressman always carried them with him and distributed them to anyone interested. Permut supported a trip to Mars in 2033, when Earth and Mars orbit would bring the two planets close enough to make a fairly fast round trip that would take about a year and a half instead of two or three years.
One of the reporters asked if the goal of Brundensting Pelmut was achievable. He replied with a smile: “I think this is a great goal. I’ll talk about it here! But if I can make Pelmut It's my goal to feel happy. You can write what I like about Pelmut!"