May 15, 2017 06:56 AM EDT
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has rejected the request of the Trump Administration of sending back U.S. astronauts to the moon's orbits by 2019 last Friday. Instead, NASA will focus on launching an unmanned mission.
In an article published in Daily Caller, NASA has concluded that launching a crew back to the moon would be too expensive and risky because of the limited time-span. They had this conclusion after spending almost three months studying on sending back astronauts back to the moon's orbit at the request of the White House.
Instead, NASA would divert their attention in launching an unmanned mission. One of the agency's previous plans is to test the unmanned launch at late 2018 that would send a capsule into a distant lunar retrograde orbit.
In addition, NASA suspected that making the spacecraft ready to support the American astronauts would require additional life support systems, display panels, and abort systems that would push the project back further. In an article published in Daily News and Analysis, one of Trump's adviser said that adding astronauts to the project is intended to be a signal to China that U.S. will still have its dominance in space.
Should the crewed flight had been approved by NASA, it would have coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It is the July 1969 mission that made astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin a household name after being the first people to step on the moon.
This announcement by NASA followed an April report of their auditors. Their auditors concluded that the agency's efforts in returning astronauts to the moon would be delayed because of space program failures in Europe.
In his inaugural address, Trump promised to "unlock the mysteries of space" by convincing NASA for more space activities. One of the space activities he mentioned is the possibilities of sending humans to Mars in a private meeting with known billionaire Elon Musk.
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