NASA has budgeted for the Mars Sample Return mission to take flight in Y 2021
In total, the space agency Tuesday requested $25.2-B to send astronauts to the Moon by Y 2024.
About 50% of the funds, $12.3-B would be spent on NASA’s Artemis program, while $3.37-B would go toward the Human Landing System.
An additional $2.7-B would be spent on planetary science, including $233-M to develop the Mars Sample Return mission, a spaceflight mission to collect rock and dust samples on Mars and return them to Earth.
The US is the only country to have successfully landed on the Moon, with the last crew departing the lunar surface in December 1972.
Vice President Mike Pence 10 months ago directed NASA to change that, and President Donald Trump, in his State of the Union address, called on Congress to fund the Artemis program, and he requested Tuesday lawmakers approve the 12% increase.
“NASA’s top-priority mission is to return American astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and build a sustainable presence on the lunar surface as the first step on a journey that will take America to Mars,” President Trump’s budget request states.
In total, the plan calls for $71-B until Y 2024 to get men back on the Moon