News of the ups and downs of the US space program came this week in the wake of the admission of NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein that he will not continue in his position under US President-elect Joe Biden.
Four destination astronauts above To the International Space Station (ISS) this weekend in the first newly certified crew vehicle in decades, as lawmakers in the U.S. Congress switch Down Request Bridenstein said he would have been allowed to fulfill his signature promise.
When Washington, D.C. began reorganizing the political transition, Bridenstein told Aviation Week Daily defense On November 8 it will not continue under Biden.
Probably the most important thing is the new development of Bridenstein’s legacy – senators may have taken the final blow to Bridenstein’s most widespread goal: to return American astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024.
Riding the wave of nostalgia for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, Bridenstein announced the # Moon2024 target in March 2019 with US Vice President Mike Pence.
Their plan was to launch the first SLS missile this year, sending an unmanned Orion capsule around the moon and back on a mission that became known as Artemis 1, later followed by a manned mission to lunar orbit, culminating in a human moon landing in 2024. – At least a man and a woman became famous for him – during the final year of Trump’s second presidency.
Bridenstein linked the # Moon2024 goal intrinsically to Trump’s second term, saying the strategy would remove political risks from the program – a risk like when the Barack Obama and Joe Biden administrations canceled the George W. Bush administration’s Constellation program who was also planning to return astronauts to the moon.
After resigning his House seat to take over the position of NASA Administrator, Bridenstein is seen to attract bipartisan support during his tenure, but Congress doesn’t look as if he’s coming for # Moon2024.
Although Bridenstine told senators in September that NASA would need more than $ 3 billion in fiscal year 2021 to build landing vehicles on the surface of the moon fast enough to achieve the goal, even the pro-Trump Senate indicated that it would likely disagree with the idea. A panel on November 10 recommended that only $ 1 billion be funded from that, which could boost Bridenstine’s legacy.
Meanwhile, he was fortunate enough as an official to be involved in some historical achievements, including events surrounding SpaceX’s manned test flight of the Crew Dragon capsule. SpaceX built the capsule as part of the NASA Commercial Staff Program, which began under the Obama administration.
NASA also announced on November 10 that it had approved the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to legally transport humans, paving the way for regular flights to the International Space Station.
Other memorable aspects of Bridenstein’s time at NASA included a quarrel on social media with Elon Musk over priorities. The near-catastrophic unmanned test flight of Boeing’s Starliner capsule; And a popular boom in private sector contracts to explore the moon.
When it was first requested that Bridenstine’s nomination be approved as administrator, some members of Congress objected to the appointment of a politician in charge of NASA. As Bridenstein said Aviation Week Politics also dictated his decision to step down:
“Whatever the boss is, they should have someone they know and trust and someone the administration trusts. That person will not be me,” he said.