Years Later, NASA Just Handed Scientists Untouched Apollo Moon Rocks

The most recent Moon samples collected came from Apollo 17 in 1972

The most recent Moon samples collected came from Apollo 17 in 1972

This path is a common refrain for Bridenstine, who as NASA administrator is tasked with executing the president's Space Policy Directive 1, which called for a renewed focus on human exploration, including a journey to the moon and eventually Mars. The most recent class of flight directors was also 50 per cent women, NASA said.

Jim Bridenstine, the head of NASA, recently appeared on the science and radio technology show Science Friday to talk about NASA's future in space.

The U.S. space agency announced Monday, March 11 that it had selected nine teams to study "pieces of the Moon that have been carefully stored and untouched for almost 50 years".

Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, DC, said: "By studying these precious lunar samples for the first time, a new generation of scientists will help advance our understanding of our lunar neighbour and prepare for the next era of exploration of the Moon and beyond".

NASA's top official says the space agency's new rocket won't be ready for a moon shot next year.

He replied: 'Absolutely. These are great days.' Bridenstine added: 'The first person on Mars is likely to be a woman.

"NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent", Bridenstine said. Currently, women make up 31 per cent of active astronauts at Nasa.

Happy National Women's Month, indeed.

NASA's SLS, or Space Launch System, rocket, could do everything in one fell swoop.

NASA bosses announced samples of lunar dust from the Apollo 15,16 and 17, which took place between July 1971 and December 1972, will be analysed for the first time.

A new $21 billion 2020 budget marks almost a six per cent increase from last year's.

"Certainly there are opportunities to utilize commercial capabilities to launch the Orion crew capsule and the European Service Module around the moon by June of 2020, which was our originally stated objective", Bridenstine told Sen.

'We will use what we learn as we move forward to the Moon to take the next giant leap - sending astronauts to Mars'.

In addition to shifts in the funding of the SLS program, the budget proposal also hinted that the rocket's maiden flight would slip from the proposed 2020 launch date. The spending plan also opens the door for using commercial rockets to deliver the first elements of the worldwide Gateway space platform to lunar orbit.

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