NASA is planning to present its strategy for the 2024 moon landing mission to Congress in the coming weeks, Spaceflight Now reported Wednesday. NASA previously targeted a 2028 schedule to further develop a space complex in lunar orbit as well as a lunar lander.
Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA’s human exploration and operations mission directorate, told members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Space Studies Board that the agency intends to get funding approval to accelerate the moon landing effort from 2028 to 2024.
“We recognize that we’re going to be challenged, and we’re going to have to be prepared to back off some of these requirements in order to achieve schedule,” Gerstenmaier noted.
NASA contracted Boeing to help develop the Space Launch System, which will carry Orion crew capsules to deep space and potentially be used for the moon landing mission as part of the rocket’s third flight. Congress is slated to approve a budget for NASA by the start of fiscal year 2020 in October.