NASA’s Artemis to put first woman on Moon

NASA's Artemis to put first woman on Moon

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WASHINGTON: NASA’s ambitious plan to put the first woman on the Moon by 2024 has been named Artemis. It was set in motion following an additional increase to the agency’s budget.

NASA’s plans for the first woman on the lunar surface ever comes nearly five decades after the men set their foot there.

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the Moon and the twin sister of the god Apollo. The Apollo program famously put the first men on the lunar surface in the 1960 and 70s.

Trump announced on Monday that he was adding $1.6 billion to NASA’s budget “so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars,” he tweeted.

The budget increase is on top of the initial $21 billion budget request from NASA to accelerate the return to the lunar surface.

Only 12 humans, all male, have so far walked on the Moon and they were all American, according to Bettina Inclan, NASA Communications Director.

“The last person walked on the Moon in 1972,” Inclan told in a statement. “No woman has ever walked on the lunar surface.”

“This investment is a down payment on NASA’s efforts and will allow us to move forward in design, development, and exploration,” Bridenstine said.

“The first woman will be an American on the surface of the moon in five years,” Bridenstine had said in April during the Space Symposium conference in Colorado Springs. “That is an extreme declaration and a charge that we are going to live up to at NASA.”

The Artemis program is still very much in its infancy. While NASA has been developing a rocket and crew capsule to take people into deep space, those vehicles still have yet to actually carry any astronauts.

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