President Trump���s Made In America Hurdle: Asia

If NASA does not receive the added money, it would probably slow back down to the 2028 schedule, Mr. Bridenstine said.

Democrats in the House of Representatives have their own ideas about what kind of money NASA needs. A preliminary 2020 budget would give NASA $22.3 billion — $820 million more than it is getting this year and almost $1.3 billion more than the Trump administration originally asked for. But most of the additional money would go to NASA’s science programs.

Other uncertainties in costs arise because, unlike the Apollo program in the 1960s, where NASA designed the spacecraft, NASA wants to hire a commercial company for Artemis trips to the lunar surface. That’s similar to how it has hired SpaceX and Boeing to take astronauts to the International Space Station.

An earlier program, to take cargo to the space station, was a resounding success. NASA now relies on companies like SpaceX to launch supplies at a lower cost.

As the moon mission is currently envisioned, NASA astronauts would launch aboard the Space Launch System, a giant rocket that NASA is currently developing, en route to an outpost in orbit high above the moon. From there, the astronauts would take a spacecraft to low lunar orbit and then to the surface.

Critics say that the traditional NASA approach, used for the Space Launch System and the Orion capsule astronauts will travel in, is too slow and expensive. But the approach of hiring private companies for space station transportation, while more economical, is also years behind schedule. SpaceX and Boeing may not be able to launch astronauts this year either.

NASA announced on Thursday that it would distribute $45.5 million to 11 companies to study and begin development of prototypes of pieces of a lander to take astronauts to the moon’s surface. The companies include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and Blue Origin, the rocket company started by Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.

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