Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told Newsmax on Saturday that the Artemis I mission paves the way for the United States to go to the moon and operate both in orbit and from the lunar surface for an extended period of time.
“[Artemis] was an initiative of the [former President Donald] Trump-[Mike] Pence administration,” Bridenstine, a Trump appointee who oversaw the agency from 2018-2021, said during “America Right Now” on Saturday. ‘It was a plan to go back to the moon. This time sustainable. In other words, We stay.”
Bridenstine said a coalition of both international and commercial partners is now involved in what was initially a US military project when the Apollo program went to the moon 60 years ago.
This time, he said, the missions aim to use the resources found on the moon to support an orbiting “space station” as well as possible structures on the surface to learn how to survive on another world for a long period of time in anticipation of eventually going to Mars.
“We’re going to use the water ice that’s common, especially at the south pole of the moon,” he said. “Water ice is H2O. It’s hydrogen, which is fuel. It’s oxygen, which is there for us to breathe.”
He said the water could also be made drinkable along with sunlight for solar energy.
Artemis I took off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 16 and is expected to enter lunar orbit on Nov. 21, according to NASA.
The main reason for the flight, in addition to testing the SLS rocket, the largest man-made rocket in history, and the Orion command module that will eventually house the astronauts when the manned Artemis II mission launches sometime next year , is testing the heat shield to protect the module and crew during its reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, the agency said.
“The mission will conclude with a test of Orion’s ability to safely return to Earth,” the agency said on its website. “Orion will enter Earth’s atmosphere at about 25,000 mph. Earth’s atmosphere will decelerate the spacecraft to a speed of about 300 mph, producing temperatures of about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit and increasing heat shield performance. tested.”
Bridenstine said the three missions, which culminate with the first moon landing in 60 years with the first woman and person of color, will set the stage for the future and prepare the agency to reach further to Mars.
“This is a mission that’s sustainable, and we’re also learning how to live and work on another world for a long time, because we’re going to Mars,” he said. “And if you go to Mars, you’re going to have to live there for a while. Because once you get there, you’re not on the same side of the sun.” with the earth, so you have to stay almost two years before you come back.”
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