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NASA dubs 2024 Moon mission 'Artemis,' asks for USD 1.6 billion

AFP  |  Washington 

NASA's next mission to the will be called Artemis, the US space agency has announced, though it's still looking for the money to make the journey happen by its accelerated 2024 deadline.

In March, moved the date for the next American lunar mission up by four years from its original goal of 2028 while pledging to get a female to the Moon's surface for the first time.

told reporters on Monday the agency would need an additional USD 1.6 billion to pay for the new ground and space vehicles needed to meet the deadline.

"This additional investment, I want to be clear, is a downpayment on NASA's efforts to land humans on the by 2024," he said.

Bridenstine said the mission was named after the Greek mythological goddess of the and twin sister to Apollo, namesake of the program that sent 12 American astronauts to the Moon between 1969 and 1972.

NASA's total annual budget is approximately USD 21.5 billion, and in the 2019 fiscal year, the agency spent about USD 4.5 billion on developing spacecraft, the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy rocket and a new lunar orbital mini-station, three elements essential to the mission.

But many experts and lawmakers are concerned that cannot meet the accelerated deadline, especially given the major delays in development of the SLS, which is being built by

Asked how much the new mission would cost in total, Bridenstine demurred, telling a reporter: "I would love to tell you that.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 09:36 IST