Washington, May 20 – The return of humans to the Moon in 2024 could cost about 30,000 million dollars, almost the same as it cost in inflation-adjusted dollars, the Apollo 11 mission, the NASA aerospace agency reported today.
“For the entire program and to achieve a sustainable human presence on the Moon, we are talking about between 20,000 and 30,000 million dollars,” said NASA director Jim Bridenstine in an interview published today by CNN.
The Apolo program, which the United States began in 1961 and ended in 1972, had a total cost of 25,000 million dollars, which, considering inflation, would amount to some 152,800 million dollars today.
That program reached its culminating moment almost 50 years ago when two astronauts descended on the Moon in the Apollo 11 mission, which cost 6,000 million dollars at that time, equivalent to some 30,000 million now taking inflation into account.
NASA, which now named its lunar program Artemis, in memory of the goddess of hunting, forests and sister of Apollo, plans to send a man and a woman to the Moon in 2024.
Bridestine recalled that the great difference between the Apollo program and the Artemis program is that the first culminated with brief stays of humans on the Moon, while the second aims to establish a permanent presence there.
The plan includes the participation of private companies and international partners, the construction of a lunar space station, the descent of humans in the South Pole of the Moon within five years and the layout of the project as an essay of a future mission to Mars.
The funds for the Artemisa program, the official explained, are added to the agency’s regular budget as Bridenstine has already told Congress, promising that the effort to place humans back on the Moon will not detract funds from the agency’s other activities. aerospace.
The program includes an unmanned mission in 2020 with a capsule that will orbit the Moon and in 2022 will send a manned mission that will also orbit the Moon.
It will be in 2020 when again a man and, for the first time, a woman, walk with their astronaut boots the moon floor.
The three missions will be carried into space driven by the largest yet-built rocket, the Space Launc System, whose production Boeing heads.
At the tip of that rocket will go the Orion capsule, for whose construction Lockheed Martin is the main contractor.
In addition to these missions, which will be exclusive tasks of NASA, there will be another five launches to place in the lunar orbit the components for the construction of the Gateway Space Station, which will serve as a shuttle for descents on the Moon.
These five missions between 2022 and 2024 will be in the hands of private companies, according to NASA’s plans. (EFEUSA)