NASA chief: Budget boost good first step for return to moon

NASA chief: Budget boost good first step for return to moon

NASA's chief said Tuesday that the agency's proposed funding increase in President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE's budget is a “good start” for returning to the moon, the Associated Press reported.

“This is a good out-of-the-gate first start, a very honest proposal from the administration that keeps us all together, moving forward,” Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineFrom Apollo 11 to Artemis: This time when we go back to the moon, we are going to stay Trump meets with Apollo 11 astronauts to mark moon landing anniversary Trump's NASA administrator talks efforts to return to Moon MORE said during an employee town hall.

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The $1.6 billion in Trump's budget is enough for 2020, he added. But more money will be needed in the years ahead to land “the next man and the first woman” at the south pole of the moon by 2024.

NASA's new project in named Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo, which was the name of America's first successful moon mission.

The space agency wants its moonwalkers to reflect today’s more diverse astronauts, which is why they named the new program after Apollo’s sister, according to AP.

“I have a daughter, she’s 11 years old, and I want her to see herself in the same position that our current, very diverse astronaut corps currently sees itself, having the opportunity to go to the moon,” Bridenstine said. “In the 1960s, young ladies didn’t have the opportunity to see themselves in that role. Today, they do.”

Trump's budget still needs congressional approval.