According to the foreign media outlet SlashGear, NASA's return to the moon in 2024 may be delayed as a new proposal suggests that NASA reduce its focus on returning to the moon and focus on human missions to Mars.So far, the so-called moon to Mars has planned to send the first female and a male astronaut to the moon in just four years.
According to NASA's plan, the gateway to the moon will be built first in the orbit around the moon, which will be the entry point for further landing on the moon and Mars missions. However, a new proposal in January 2020 will significantly change the strategy. The HR 5666 proposal was proposed by kedra horn, democratic representative of Oklahoma, chairman of the Scientific Committee of the house of Representatives, with a focus on Mars rather than the moon. "The medium-term goal of the moon to Mars plan should be to put a manned mission on the surface of the moon by 2028, and to put a manned mission into orbit on Mars by 2033," the proposal said
One of the biggest changes envisaged in the bill is the change to Gateway. Instead of orbiting the moon, it is known as the "gateway" to Mars. Although it will still serve as an entry point for the final manned mission to Mars, it no longer needs to serve the moon.
In addition, the HR 5666 proposal requires NASA to have "full ownership" of the vehicle itself, rather than the current model. In this mode, NASA will obtain the right to use the human lander system (SLS) from a commercial provider. NASA had previously submitted a proposal for the HLS program, and Boeing and other companies designed the lander themselves.
As Space News points out, even the Lander's approach to putting astronauts on the moon is different from its current strategy. The bill suggests that the human lunar lander should be "mounted on an exploration of the upper enhanced space launch system ". NASA and other companies have considered another strategy, that is, commercial launches transport lander components to Gateway for final construction.
Supporters of the bill, which aims to ensure the United States becomes the first country to send astronauts to Mars, did not try to cover that up. "Americans should be the first to set foot on the Red Planet, and" HR5666" brings us closer to that goal by guiding people to a stable and sustainable course of action," said Rep. Horn. The proposal has the support of both Democrats and Republicans.
Therefore, NASA will need to provide "a list of the minimum human and robotic lunar surface activities that must be completed to complete human missions to Mars, including those to be tested on the Mars channel as well as plans. The bill calls for these tasks to be completed within five years of the first human moon landing. A manned lunar base would no longer be part of the "Moonto Mars mission,"so separate funding would be needed, and earlier plans to investigate how to mine lunar water ice and possibly provide assistance to the Mars mission would be considered out of the core mission.
But first, the house space subcommittee needs to finalize the bill on January 29. The bill will then be referred to a committee of the whole.