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NASA Administrator outlines ‘Moon to Mars’ initiative

Stephen Kuper
NASA Administrator outlines ‘Moon to Mars’ initiative
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi (Source: NASA)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has followed on from the US State of the Union address to deliver the “State of NASA” address to outline the US government’s plans for “Moon to Mars” exploration and the FY2021 budget.

NASA centres across the United States opened their doors to media and social media for “State of NASA” events, including a televised program featuring remarks from Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-4) and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on the agency’s mission to go to the moon, Mars and worlds beyond.

Events at NASA centres coincided with the White House’s release of NASA’s fiscal year 2021 budget and will include media tours and presentations on the agency’s exploration goals, innovative technologies developed and under development, scientific discoveries made as NASA explores Earth and our universe, and advancements in next-generation air travel.

Bridenstine explained the increased focus of the Trump administration to send human missions to the moon and Mars off the back of President Trump’s State of the Union address, which highlighted increased funding for NASA.

“President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2021 budget for NASA is worthy of 21st century exploration and discovery. The President’s budget invests more than US$25 billion in NASA to fortify our innovative human space exploration program while maintaining strong support for our agency’s full suite of science, aeronautics and technology work.

“The budget proposed represents a 12 percent increase and makes this one of the strongest budgets in NASA history. The reinforced support from the President comes at a critical time as we lay the foundations for landing the first woman and the next man on the south pole of the moon by 2024. This budget keeps us firmly on that path,” Bridenstine explained. 

Expanding on the increase in NASA’s budget as part of the FY2021 budget, Bridenstine said, “The FY2021 budget positions NASA to spearhead a new era of human space exploration without focusing funds on one program at the expense of others. This all-of-NASA approach to the future will help us take advantage of all the exciting, new horizons emerging in science, aeronautics and technology.

“I am confident the FY2021 budget’s proper investment in our agency’s priorities, coupled with your unmatched talents and expertise, will strengthen our national posture for continued space preeminence and, as President Trump said during his State of the Union speech last week, help our nation embrace the next frontier,” he added.

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