Credit: NASA

Bye-bye, miss american pie: The U.S. Congress and President Trump have sealed a $2 trillion+ stimulus deal stimulated by the on-going COVID-19 crisis that’s impacted all aspects of the U.S. economy, including America’s civil space program.

Let’s layer those transmissible woes on top of projected NASA intentions to shape a human return to the Moon by 2024 – and shoving off to Mars as a future objective.

That’s the background for reaching out to two key space policy gurus in Washington, D.C.

NASA’s Artemis return humans to the Moon by 2024 program.
Credit: NASA

What now?

“Setting the end of 2024 for getting back to the Moon was always arbitrary,” explains John Logsdon, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and International Affairs at the Space Policy Institute, Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

“With the current health crisis situation and the stand down of the Artemis team, it makes absolutely no sense to continue to push for that date,” Logsdon told Inside Outer Space.

A much more fundamental issue, Logsdon added, “is whether the White House, the Congress, and indeed the U.S. public will continue, as we emerge from this trauma, to support human space exploration in the face of unprecedented demands on the government budget.”

U.S. President Trump signing brings back the National Space Council and  puts America on a return to the Moon path.
Credit: White House

The big ask

Requesting $71 billion over the next five years to go back to the Moon by 2024, a politically-inspired date, on top of everything else NASA does, was a big ask to begin with, says Marcia Smith, founder and editor of

“In the current climate, with trillions – that’s with a t – being spent to keep the country afloat economically, I think it will be a bridge too far,” Smith told Inside Outer Space.

“Generally speaking, Congress loves NASA, and space exploration, so I don’t think the goal will change, but almost certainly the timeline,” Smith said.

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