Feb 4, 2021 - Science

Biden supports NASA's Artemis program back to the Moon

The Moon as seen from the International Space Station

Photo: NASA

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the Biden administration supports NASA's Artemis program to send humans back to the surface of the Moon.

Why it matters: Some speculated that NASA's Artemis program would be canceled under Biden, as previous administrations have dramatically changed the direction of NASA's exploration goals.

Details: The comments today from Psaki show that the administration intends to stay the course, at least when it comes to the broad idea behind the mission.

  • "To date only 12 humans have walked on the Moon. That was half a century ago. The Artemis program — a waypoint to Mars — provides... the opportunity to add numbers to that... Lunar exploration has broad and bicameral support in Congress," Psaki said, adding that "certainly we support this effort and endeavor."

Yes, but: President Biden has yet to announce his pick for a NASA administrator, who will affect the space agency's course in the coming years, and the administration has not put forth new details about its space policy priorities.

  • It remains to be seen whether the Artemis program's goal of landing people on the Moon by 2024 will stand firm.
  • That quick timeline — put in place by the Trump administration — has come under fire for being politically motivated and too risky.
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