Sci/Tech Elon Musk: SpaceX could land on the moon in 2 years. NASA: We'll partner with them, if pulled off.


The Helper Connoisseur / Ex-MineCraft Host
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Fifty years ago on Wednesday, the first humans to walk on the moon splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA is itching to launch astronauts back to the moon, with an immediate goal of putting boots on the lunar surface in 2024 with its Artemis program. But to accomplish that, the agency may wind up turning to private rocket developers like SpaceX.

Artemis isn't meant to repeat the Apollo missions of the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, NASA wants to send cargo and supplies to the lunar surface, build up a permanent base there, and start looking for ice. Hundreds of millions of tons of water exist on the moon, and that resource can be mined, melted, turned into air, and split into rocket fuel to power voyages to Mars.

NASA plans to use government-funded Space Launch System rockets to return to the moon. But those vehicles won't start launching until late 2021 (the first one was supposed to fly in 2017) and the program is billions of dollars over budget. Increasingly, Trump administration officials and NASA executives are signaling, contrary to congressional budgets, that the agency may look to SpaceX or Blue Origin for help.

"We're not committed to any one contractor," Vice President Mike Pence said in March. "If our current contractors can't meet this objective, then we'll find ones that will."

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NASA has proven that they can get cool stuff done, but it will be costly to do it. In the 60s, NASA's budget peaked at over 4% of the total federal budget. In modern times, it hasn't broken above 1% since 1993 ( ).

If SpaceX or Blue Origin or Boeing can do it for cheaper (or at least not using taxpayer dollars) then that makes the politicians look good at least.
The US federal debt sure isn't going down.


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> over 4%

Imagine if it had gone up to 10+% 50 years ago and had improved since then or at least stayed there... perhaps we would still not be watching C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate, but we would be damn much closer than currently.
Because currently is getting us strictly nowhere - at least not anywhere normal human beings want to be or go; much less off this rock

> If SpaceX or Blue Origin or Boeing can do it for cheaper

Astronomical research requires astronomical sums :p
You can't cut corners when going to space!


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All I wanted to say is, "I can't wait to see this unfold."
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