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Vice President Pence calls for human landing on the Moon by 2024
Posted: Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 9:56 AM ET (1356 GMT)
Vice President Mike Pence at KSC, July 2017 (NASA) Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA Tuesday to return humans to the surface of the Moon within five years. Pence, speaking at a National Space Council meeting in Huntsville, Alabama, said urgency was required for NASA's human space exploration plans both because of competition from other nations as well as to battle complacency. Pence said that NASA should use "any means necessary" to get humans to the south pole of the moon by 2024, including shedding contractors who fail to deliver. However, NASA endorsed continued development of the SLS, and said that the rocket will be used to launch Orion on the EM-1 mission next year after studying and rejecting commercial alternatives for that mission. The announcement gave few technical or fiscal details about how NASA can achieve a human landing by 2024, four years earlier than the agency's existing plans.
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