The US intends to send astronauts to the moon in 2024 and “leave them there” for a while, said US Vice President Mike Pence in the interview with CBS TV.
“This time, when we fly to the moon, it will not be just a visit – we are going to stay,” he said.
In his words, Washington is completely committed to achieving this goal, and the experience gained at the same time will further help in sending a man to Mars.
Moreover, Pence added, the Donald Trump administration fully supports the NASA Artemis program.
“We understand that by the time we fly to Mars – and the Americans fly to Mars – we will need to develop new technologies, new equipment and gain new experience that we can get only on the Moon. And the president fully supports it [“Artemis” mission]. This is one of the reasons why we set a goal to return American astronauts to the Moon in five years and then fly to Mars,” the vice president explained.
Pence also expressed confidence that the U.S. will be able to land a man on the Red Planet yet.
“I don’t think that there can be any doubt that we will be on Mars in our generation. But the foundation stone will be a return to the Moon, the development of new technologies and new methods for a long-term human stay on another planet,” he said.
It occured that the U.S.completed work on the Orion reusable spacecraft and intend to send it for the flight around the Moon as a part of the Artemis mission.
The mission is named after a Greek goddess Luna and sister Apollo, whose name was after the previous American lunar program, during which the first man walk on the Moon was made in July, 1969.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website