An upcoming spacewalk at the International Space Station will feature two female astronauts for the very first time. He also said the United States will have astronauts on the moon again in less than 10 years and this time, he says, 'we will stay'.
It is the first time that NASA has clearly acknowledged the extent of the problems with the SLS, which according to an inspector general's report last August has so far cost the space agency more than $12 billion to develop.
In fact, he said the next person on the moon is also likely to be a woman.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the mission gives birth to a new generation of space flight.
The U.S. space agency announced Monday, March 11 that it had selected nine teams to study "pieces of the Moon that have been carefully stored and untouched for almost 50 years". The spacewalk, which is scheduled for March 29, will feature astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch, who will be supported by women on the ground, including NASA flight director Mary Lawrence and CSA control team member Kristen Facciol.
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Bridenstine went out of his way to say NASA was not abandoning the rocket, praising it as "the largest rocket that's ever been built in American history" and saying it remains "a critical capability" for the US space program.
The first six women joined NASA's Astronaut Corps in 1978, making up almost 10 per cent of the active astronaut corps. We feel lucky that it [the all-female spacewalk] just sort of happened to be in Women's History Month'.
Amanda Hendrix, a Planetary Science Institute senior scientist and lead author of the paper, said in the press release said, "These results aid in understanding the lunar water cycle and will ultimately help us learn about the accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions to the moon".
In recent years, Nasa has seen an increase in female applicants for their astronaut programmes.
"I want to be clear, Bridenstine said, "We do not right now have an ability to dock the Orion crew capsule with anything in orbit".
A test expected to take place in June will put the Orion crew capsule's safety measures through their paces. The spending plan also opens the door for using commercial rockets to deliver the first elements of the global Gateway space platform to lunar orbit.