Even though President Trump’ comments cast a doubt on NASA’s moon mission of 2024 Scott Pace, a representative of White House affirmed that sending humans to moon is very much on the agenda as a stepping stone to Mars. Speaking at the National Space Society International Space Development Conference he stated that efforts were on to make the 2024 deadline a reality but NASA should not divert from its long term goal of humans to Mars mission. He seemed to emphasize on Mr. Trumps tweet which stated that NASA should not be talking about going to the moon and instead should emphasize on other objectives like Mars.
Though Pace did not discuss Mr. Trump’s tweet when he was specifically asked about it in a Q&A session after the meet he emphasized that Mars was a long term goal of NASA and they have asked Congress for extra sources to make the 2024 human landing on moon a reality as after creating a sustainable presence on its surface they will go to Mars after a decade. Pace also clarified that president’s views were not a criticism of NASA’s activities but was a reminder that agency should not lose focus on long term goals.
As the agency is working hard on both goals with dedication they get little time to speak to larger audiences and keep the nation informed about how things are progressing in both objectives which is why there is understandable impatience about the situation. He stated that the current White House administration dept. is the friendliest towards space research and the agency has close relations with all administrative bodies. Pace stated that White House is keen on getting the budget for $1.6 billion of NASA cleared by fiscal budget of 2020 that it needs urgently to start building lunar landers. He also defended NASA’s long term plan of making the Gateway which could be reserved for later part of lunar exploration.
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