NASA and White House recently announced that they will need additional $1.6 Billion in funding for the agency in the financial year 2020. This is said to be a “down payment” on attempts to reach a human lunar landing by 2024. Recently, Donald Trump, the U.S. President, revealed the extra funding to back a return to the Moon and other upcoming missions to Mars. He wrote, “I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”
Shortly thereafter, the U.S. space agency released a summary of its budget amendment. Reports highlight that the latest amendment calls for almost $1.9 Billion in latest funding for the development of lunar Landers and spending up the work on Orion and the Space Launch System. It would as well go towards exploration technology expansion and more science missions to the moon.
On a similar note, NASA came into the news as it disclosed that it, along with its partner Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (NGIS), has completed a chain of trials. Reportedly, these trials were focused on a complete mockup of NGIS’s planned Deep Space Gateway habitat modules. The trial was carried out at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. It is said to be part of Northrop Grumman’s contribution to the program named Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2).
In a press release, NGIS noted that the latest testing was carried out on mockups. The firm added that the future modules at the Johnson Space Center were “prepared with everything required by an Orion astronaut crew to replicate Cislunar Gateway missions.” To this end, the mockups were integrated with life support systems, crew exercise equipment, a toilet, sleeping quarters, a galley, a radiation shelter, science racks, an airlock/tunnel, and robotics workstations.