While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress. I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements.
On the third day of the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, I held important bilateral meetings with the United Arab Emirates Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center. Our charge to explore the Moon, and make the next giant leap to Mars, will require strong international partnerships. The dialogue today helped clarify NASA’s plans and highlighted the interest from other space agencies in joining us on this incredible journey.
In a meeting with Dr. Mohamed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA), we discussed NASA’s plans to move forward to the Moon and opportunities for UAESA participation in future lunar surface activities. We also discussed the UAESA’s plans to fly their first astronaut to the International Space Station later this year.
In the final meeting of the day, I met with Professor Pascale Ehrenfreund, Executive Board Chair of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). We spoke about the robust relationship between our agencies in human and robotic exploration and areas for cooperation as we pursue returning humans to the lunar surface in 2024. Professor Ehrenfreund was particularly excited about the opportunities we have to inspire the next generation of STEM leaders with stunning achievements in space exploration.
Moving forward to the Moon is a global effort that will improve life for all of humanity, and NASA is leading this growing coalition of nations to raise the bar of human achievement.
We’ve accelerated NASA’s plans to reach the lunar surface, and I was happy to share our plans with an international audience today during a plenary session at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. Fellow speakers included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, both of whom we’ve collaborated with to implement President Trump’s space policy directives.
Just two weeks ago at the meeting of the National Space Council, Vice President Mike Pence, on behalf of the president, charged NASA with landing American astronauts on the lunar South Pole in 2024, by any means necessary. It’s a directive from the very top and a once in a lifetime opportunity to advance human achievement.
We’ve already been working hard on a reusable, sustainable architecture to bring humans to the lunar surface. Our backbone for deep space exploration is our powerful Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft and the lunar Gateway command module.
We celebrated the Space Foundation’s recognition of astronaut Tom Stafford with the General James E. Hill Lifetime Space Achievement Award. General Stafford has inspired an entire generation of space enthusiasts, scientists, engineers and astronauts. As he received his award, Gen. Stanford expressed his support for President Trump’s challenge to put humans on the Moon by 2024.
On day two of the Space Symposium, NASA coordinated a historic International Exploration Meeting with over twenty space agencies from around the world. The common thread was everyone’s excitement about moving forward to the Moon together. We will continue to mobilize support worldwide in pursuit of this goal.
I didn’t want to sign off without mentioning the amazing NASA exhibit at the Space Symposium. Our people are doing a tremendous job telling the NASA story, and the imagery, models and hands-on activities look outstanding. I’m so proud of the experience we are providing for the thousands of patrons attending the symposium.
Now is the right time to move forward to the Moon. We will go with our commercial and international partners, and together we will go farther than ever before. We will prove out the technologies that will take us to Mars and inspire the next generation of explorers in the process. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and we the people of NASA are ready.
When President Donald Trump charged NASA with returning to the Moon, he specified that we partner with industry and other nations to make it possible. Today, on the first day of the 35thSpace Symposium in Colorado we continue our commitment to work with innovative partners as we chart our path forward to the moon in 2024.
The Space Symposium provided me and the NASA team a unique opportunity for dialogue, as it is the first major international public forum to discuss President Trump’s and Vice President Pence’s 2024 moon challenge. Earlier today I met with several members of the international community to discuss our lunar exploration plans and reiterated NASA’s commitment to move forward to the Moon with strong international collaboration.
NASA’s leadership in low-Earth orbit through the International Space Station (ISS) has created a multi-national space community and fostered an ever-growing commercial space industry. The ISS is an innovation laboratory which has helped NASA pioneer a new private space sector. We are now working on translating these relationships and victories to deep space and the Moon.
In a meeting with Johann-Dietrich Wörner, director general of European Space Agency (ESA), and his team, we highlighted ESA’s and America’s successful collaboration on the ISS, and reviewed plans for the service module for the Orion spacecraft that will take us to the Moon and beyond. We reviewed our new expedited schedule and the key role ESA and the European Service Module will have in achieving those goals. We also discussed future robotic missions to the lunar surface and Mars.
During our meeting with Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and his delegation, we shared our commitment to the ISS and discussed additional opportunities on and around the Moon. Additionally, we followed up discussions on learning from our respective asteroid sample return missions, OSIRIS-REx AND Hayabusa-2.
This afternoon, I participated in a historic moment as NASA welcomed the newly formed Hellenic Space Agency (HAS). HSA CEO Dr. Georgios Mantzouris and I signed a joint statement expressing a desire to remain open to opportunities for collaboration, both through Greece’s contributions to the European Space Agency and bilaterally.
I attended a meeting of the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group, an organization focused on coordination, cooperation and technology and information exchange across the nation’s space enterprise. They expressed their efforts to strengthen the space community,
Speaking at the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) I provided remarks on the legal and regulatory uncertainty that must be considered as we solidify our plans for the moon. These considerations must include non-traditional space activities and examining how to establish the legal regimes for authorization and continuing supervision. My conversation called on the experts in the room to further analyze this new frontier of deep space to ensure we have the certainty necessary for all parties to be successful on the Moon.
NASA and its partners are working tirelessly to make our next giant leap possible, and we’re bolstering critical sectors of our aerospace base in the process. Throughout this first day of Space Symposium, I connected with leaders in the space community and reiterated our commitment to our space architecture and the importance of international cooperation in order for all nations to be successful.
On March 14, 2019, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine sent this message to NASA employees and contractors:
Yesterday, I was asked by Congress about the schedule slip of the Space Launch System and plans to get NASA back on track. I mentioned that we are exploring the possibility of launching Orion and the European Service Module to low-Earth orbit on an existing heavy-lift rocket, then using a boost from another existing vehicle for Trans Lunar Injection. Our goal would be to test Orion in lunar orbit in 2020 and free up the first SLS for the launch of habitation or other hardware in 2021. This would get us back on schedule for a crewed lunar orbital mission in 2022 with the added bonus of a lunar destination for our astronauts.
We are studying this approach to accelerate our lunar efforts. The review will take no longer than two weeks and the results will be made available. Please know that NASA is committed to building and flying the SLS for the following reasons:
- Launching two heavy-lift rockets to get Orion to the Moon is not optimum or sustainable.
- Docking crewed vehicles in Earth orbit to get to the Moon adds complexity and risk that is undesirable.
- SLS mitigates these challenges and allows crew and payloads to get to the Moon, and eventually to Mars, safer and more efficiently than any temporary solution used to get back on track.
I believe in the strength of our workforce and our ability to utilize every tool available to achieve our objectives. Our goal is to get to the Moon sustainably and on to Mars. With your focused efforts, and unmatched talent, the possibility of achieving this objective is real.
As the international leader in space for 60 years, NASA has achieved inspiring feats of exploration, discovery, science and technology. We have changed the way the world flies, communicates, navigates, predicts weather, produces food and energy, and so much more.
President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 NASA budget is one of the strongest on record for our storied agency. In keeping with Space Policy Directive-1, it provides for the foundation of a national exploration campaign that will use the experience of the NASA workforce, coupled with the agility and innovation of our commercial and international partners, to create an architecture that is open, sustainable and agile. This unified effort will inspire generations and change the course of history as we realize the next great scientific, economic and technical achievements in space.
The 2020 NASA budget supports a sustainable campaign of exploration, returning humans to lunar orbit and then the surface of the Moon, and eventually embarking on human missions to Mars and other destinations.
In low-Earth orbit, our Commercial Crew program remains strong and will soon be delivering American astronauts, on American rockets, from American soil to the International Space Station for the first time since 2011. The successes of our commercial and international partnerships on the International Space Station are now serving as the foundation for moving deeper into space.
For the first time in a decade, NASA has a budget for pursuing activities on the lunar surface. We have called on American companies to help design and develop human lunar landers and reusable systems for surface activities. The Space Launch System and Orion, critical components of our exploration architecture, will reach important milestones in construction and testing this year, and our new lunar command module, the Gateway, will see international and commercial partnerships solidified and construction begin.
With this budget, we will initiate the first round trip mission to the Red Planet with a Mars sample return mission, and many of the technological advancements we achieve moving forward to the Moon will provide critical data and capabilities for future robotic and crewed Mars missions. NASA is positioned to provide American leadership across each of these key destinations, empowering industry and the international community to move off the Earth in a unified, collaborative way.
As this Administration places a priority on human exploration, the whole of NASA benefits with robust budgets and synergy across our mission directorates. We will continue to pursue transformative aeronautics technology as we develop the next generation of aircraft and make air travel safer and more efficient. We will increase our understanding of our home planet and move out on ambitious programs to study the far reaches of our solar system and beyond.
Through the leadership and investment of this Administration, the world will participate together in civilization-changing discoveries and achievements.
The fiscal year 2020 NASA budget is strong. We will explore, discover and inspire, and all of humanity will benefit from our efforts.
NASA is going back to the Moon to stay. It’s part of a bold directive from the President for the U.S. to lead a worldwide endeavor to open a new era of space exploration in a measured, sustainable way. This work is going to take collaboration with international partners, industry, and other stakeholders, and I’m delighted by Canada’s commitment today to join us in our work to go forward to the Moon and Mars.
We are excited that Canada will be a vital ally in this lunar journey as they become the first international partner for the Gateway lunar outpost with their 24 year commitment to deep space exploration and collaboration.
Canada’s friendship throughout the Space Age, and our longstanding partnership aboard the International Space Station have brought our two nations many benefits. From astronauts like David Saint-Jacques, currently aboard the station, to the invaluable Canadarm-2 that helps us perform many tasks on the station, everything from critical repairs to the Hubble Space Telescope to the construction of the International Space Station. Canada’s technical expertise and human resources have been an incredible component of our achievements on orbit and across the spectrum of our work. It was my great pleasure to visit Canada recently and see this innovation firsthand.
Going forward to the Moon, we’re making progress on a Gateway lunar outpost where astronauts can live and work in orbit and from which we can go to the lunar surface, again and again. We’ve begun the process for industry partners to deliver the first science instruments and tech demonstrations to the Moon’s surface, and we’re going to keep up that drumbeat until we’ve built human landers to get us back to the Moon by 2028.
Today, in addition to their incredible 24-year commitment, Canada is going to build a next generation Canadarm for the Gateway lunar outpost and support our work with industry to return to the surface of the moon, among other efforts. Canada’s technologic achievement as part of Gateway lunar outpost will be a part of creating the vital backbone for commercial and other international partnerships to get to the Moon and eventually to Mars. We are thrilled to work with Canada on the next generation of its robotics to help carry out incredible missions at the Gateway lunar outpost and to collaborate in our future on the lunar surface and deep space.
I thank Prime Minister Trudeau for his vote of confidence in the Canadian Space Agency and the many innovations that its president Sylvain Laporte and the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development are pursuing for the Canadian people and the world. Our work in space improves life for people everywhere on this planet. We look forward to our deepening partnership with Canada, and the support of the many other nations I am confident will join us and help strengthen our progress on the challenging goals we’ve set in space.
NASA has once again received a strong bipartisan vote of confidence from President Donald J. Trump and Congress with the approval of our $21.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which is $763.9 million above the FY 2018 enacted level. It’s a win for our space program and the American people.
All of our directorates received healthy topline funding at or exceeding the original budget request, and our work to move forward to the Moon and beyond remains on firm footing. We’re looking forward to giving Congress more details about our plans, and are confident that the taxpayer investment to explore deep space will reap large and ongoing dividends.
This budgetary support ensures progress on our bold plans to once again launch American astronauts to the International Space Station in American-made rockets from American soil on commercial spacecraft. We’re also marking milestones as we build the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to take astronauts deeper into space than we have ever gone before. These big ideas demand long term commitment. And this budget fully supports them. The dedicated NASA workforce has been demonstrating that these things can be done, and is making progress and reaching milestones across the spectrum of our work.
This year we plan to contract for the first work on our Gateway, a new orbiting home for astronauts at the Moon, and the budget supports our work on this next step in our plans to extend human presence around the Moon. We are working to procure a commercially provided lunar lander with tech demonstrations and science payloads this year. The Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contractors will drive the schedule for the first delivery to the lunar surface. Industry is also helping us refine and advance our plans for landers to return humans to the lunar surface by 2028.
Thanks to bipartisan support, NASA has funding to develop cutting edge technologies focused on deep space exploration such as new propulsion technologies, and extraordinary science that continues to impact the lives of everyone on the planet through our Earth observations that improve weather forecasting and disaster preparedness and improve agriculture. This budget is also helping us target big science goals such as the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
Our aeronautics engineers are working on transformative technologies to advance hypersonic travel, reducing that familiar boom and making flights faster, as well as improving travel for the average American and making airplanes safer and flights more reliable. These are some the countless breakthroughs made by NASA scientists and engineers that are improving the quality of life for every day Americans – benefits whose value increases exponentially.
It’s clear that NASA at 60 continues to lead the world in creating the future, and we look forward to implementing this strong budget.
One of my top priorities is to show all Americans how our work at NASA impacts their lives every day. Last week, I visited the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California. It was my privilege to share the great work the NASA Family is doing to help farmers improve our food supply and security.
The World Ag Expo draws more than 100,000 attendees from around the world. People were excited to see how NASA science, aeronautics and technology are doing things that positively affect agriculture for the world.
I talked about NASA’s Airborne Snow Observatory and how it’s enabling California to maximize the utility of every drop of water (including saving endangered species), while ensuring not a drop is wasted. I highlighted how NASA is applying its Earth Science technologies to enable higher crop yields while using 20% less water and reducing nitrate leaching by 50%, and how this same technology mitigated a humanitarian disaster in Uganda, saving countless lives and millions of dollars in aid. I also shared how NASA is helping to increase farm productivity by licensing our precision aircraft navigation technology for self-driving tractors and agricultural Unmanned Aerial Systems.
I hope you’ll help me spread the word about how our nation’s investment in NASA is having a tangible impact on lives all around the world.
Humans are preparing to leave Earth’s orbit for the first time since 1972 — to the moon and eventually to Mars and beyond. That’s the mandate we’ve been given by President Donald Trump and a supportive bipartisan Congress. This is an exciting time to be leading America’s space program.
Today I’m proud to share a bold response to President Trump’s December 2017 call to action, one that will usher in the next chapter of human exploration. We are calling on American companies to help design and develop human lunar landers, reusable systems for astronauts to land on the moon.
As a lifelong NASA supporter, I am thrilled to be talking once again about landing humans on the moon. But to some, saying we’re returning to the moon implies we’ll be doing the same as we did 50 years ago. I want to be clear — that is not our vision. We are going to the moon with innovative new technologies and systems to explore more locations across the surface than we ever thought possible. This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay.
In the half-century since we last set foot on the lunar surface, our country, our agency — including its budget and workforce — and the technology and industrial landscape have all experienced tremendous change.
Indeed, more than two-thirds of Americans today were not even alive to witness the six successful Apollo moon landings, myself included. Extraordinary as they were, for many the lunar expeditions are facts from history books or stories told by older relatives. But unlike Apollo, this time we’re going to the moon to stay, and from there we’ll take the next giant leap in deep space exploration.
In my youth, I aspired to emulate America’s best aviators, astronauts like Alan Sheppard, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong. My aspirations led me to become a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Now, as NASA’s administrator, I have the opportunity to support a new generation of America’s best pilots, operators and space explorers as we venture deeper into the universe than ever before. I am humbled to lead this journey. I’m excited about what it means for our future, and I believe it is essential to the security of our nation.
To do that we need a sustainable, human presence beyond Earth’s orbit. That starts with the Gateway — a lunar orbiting outpost designed to ensure the safe transit of astronauts to the lunar surface and back home again.
The Gateway will be the home base for the first reusable human lunar lander system. It’s a sustainable approach that creates more commercial opportunities, which is necessary for long-term human space exploration. Crews will use our powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft to travel to the Gateway and return safely home.
We want to get started as quickly as possible, so we are inviting private industry and other potential partners to meet with us next week at NASA Headquarters to discuss human lunar landers.
We have already committed to working with nine American companies to send new science instruments and technology demonstrations to the surface on commercial cargo moon deliveries. Following these early Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) missions will be a larger, more reliable and reusable lander system built for astronauts. We plan to award our first CLPS delivery task order early this year and target the first commercial lunar surface landing by the end of 2020.
President Trump has charged us with a bolder exploration mission — not to leave footsteps and plant flags but to learn how to live away from Earth. We are responding to that call while also continuing to look for scientific discoveries in the solar system and developing SLS, Orion and the Gateway. Working with our commercial and international partners, we will establish a foundation for ongoing human exploration of our nearest celestial neighbor.
Following a buildup of capabilities, our goal is to land astronauts on the moon within the next decade. Billions of people around the world will watch history being made as astronauts explore more of the surface for longer periods of time than ever before, and help us prepare for missions to Mars and other destinations.
We’re actively seeking ideas from the best and brightest from American industry. I may have missed the first human landing on the moon, but I’m working to ensure that I see the next one, along with the rest of the world.