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“We are confident in NASA’s partnership with SpaceX to help us achieve the Artemis mission,” Lisa Watson-Morgan, the program manager at NASA overseeing development of the landers, said during a telephone news conference on Friday, “and look forward to continuing our work toward landing astronauts on the moon to prepare for the next giant leap towards Mars.”President Biden is sustaining plans started under President Donald J. Trump to send astronauts back to the moon. But while Mr. Trump pledged a return by 2024, the schedule was not considered realistic after Congress did not provide requested financing, and NASA is now re-evaluating the schedule.
For the spacecraft that would land astronauts on the moon, NASA had been expected to choose two of the three companies to move forward and build their landers, mirroring the approach the space agency has used for hiring companies to take cargo and now astronauts to the International Space Station. Two options provide competition that helps keep costs down, and provides a backup in case one of the systems encounters a setback.NASA considered plans for a crewed lunar landing as early as 1959 and pursued early concept studies in 1960. These early studies allowed the space agency to respond quickly and affirmatively to President Kennedy's inquiry in April 1961, when he asked if "we have a chance of beating the Soviets...to go to the moon and back with a man" and to provide the nation with a "space program which promises dramatic results in which we could win".
The chart below displays the costs of major programs within Project Apollo. It is easy to see that the two largest expenditures were for the Saturn family of launch vehicles and the spacecraft that would ride atop them. Both express the classic project development "cost curve" shape of their spending profiles, in which costs peak in advance of the program activity itself (in this case, before landing on the Moon). The overall cost of the project declines as work shifts from research and development into production and operations. Absent healthy early funding in space projects, hard problems remain unsolved, deadlines are missed, and overall costs increase. This chart shows that Project Apollo had the money it needed when it needed it, which helped ensure the success of the endeavor. Few NASA programs since have enjoyed that luxury, and as a consequence, failed to adhere to their original schedules.Great food with good sized portions. I ordered the full moon sandwich. It was huge, lots of meat stuffed in there. My option of sides was pasta salad. We had deep fried pickles as an appetizer, it came with two kinds of pickle, both slices and spears. They have a good beer selection as well. I had Space Dust IPA and my wife had a lemon heffy. Next time I think I will try their pizza! (Source: usa-food.worldorgs.com)