Returning people to the moon would not require a large budget increase in Apollo style, NASA manager Jim Bridenstine said.
The Apollo program in the mid-sixties generated about 4.5 percent of the federal budget, but the current budget share of NASA is around 0.5 percent.
The amount should be sufficient to support manned lunar missions over the next 10 years or so, Space.com Bridenstine quoted in NASA's Ames Research Center.
(Also read: KOLONIZING THE MOON: A STORY OF FABRIC, BRICKS AND A PRINTER TO BUILD A LUNAARD VILLAGE)
But the key lies in not only going and continuing to get relatively modest, but important financial bumps, he added.
Bridenstine was on his first visit to NASA & # 39; s Ames.
"We now have more space agencies on the surface of the planet than ever before, and even countries that do not have space agencies – they have space activities and they want to work with us on our return to the planet." Moon, "Bridenstine was quoted Friday by Space. com.
The NASA chief added that the space agency has a robust commercial marketplace for people who can provide access that did not exist historically.
"So, between our international and commercial partners and our higher budget, I think we will be in good shape to achieve the objectives of the Space Directive 1," Bridenstine notes.
The centerpiece of NASA & # 39; s manned moon plans, at least in the short term, is the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway. This small, orbiting space station will be assembled and visited using the Space Launch System of the space agency, the megarocket and the Orion capsule, both of which are under development, the report said.
The Gateway will house up to four astronauts for a month or two at a time and serve as a hub for robotic and manned exploration of the lunar surface.
The first element of the Gateway – the power and propulsion module – is planned for launch in 2022. Other important pieces will be raised shortly thereafter. If everything goes according to plan, astronauts can already visit the outpost in 2024 and a few years later, before the end of the 2020s, make journeys to the lunar surface, NASA officials have said.