INTERVIEW - NASA Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard on the Moon Landing and the future of the space program – shared the importance of the moon landing to the space program, humankind and discussed NASA’s future efforts in space including Mars and a lunar outpost orbiting the Moon.
BIO: Deputy Administrator James W. Morhard: James Morhard was nominated by President Trump and confirmed to be NASA’s 14th Deputy Administrator. He was sworn in on October 17th, 2018. Jim helps provide overall leadership, planning, and policy direction. He performs duties and exercises powers delegated by the Administrator, assists him in making final agency decisions, and acts in his absence to govern NASA operations. Jim also is responsible for articulating and representing the agency's vision. NASA and ESA Reach Critical Decision on How the First Lunar Outpost Will Orbit the Moon. (Gizmodo) - Mission planners for the lunar Gateway project have decided how the lunar outpost should orbit the Moon—and it’s actually quite brilliant. They’ve chosen a near-rectilinear halo orbit. This highly elliptical orbit should solve a bunch of problems, making it easy for astronauts to embark on missions to the lunar surface and for the outpost to receive supplies from Earth, among other things, according to mission planners from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), which announced the decision in a press release today. The team “spent months debating the pros and cons of different orbits,” noted ESA, with the near-rectilinear halo orbit, or NRHA, getting the final and definitive thumbs up. Indeed, it was a critically important decision given the requirements of the Gateway project and the demands that will be placed on the lunar outpost, a collaborative project involving NASA, ESA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Roscosmos, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), and other international partners. Slated for completion by the mid 2020s, the lunar Gateway will serve as a staging post for crewed missions to the Moon, namely NASA’s upcoming Artemis program, which aims to place a man and woman on the lunar surface by 2024. The orbital station will provide a short-term place for astronauts to stay, a laboratory to conduct scientific research, a depot to stock up on supplies and fuel, a hub for relaying communications, and a base to dispatch astronauts, robots, and other supplies to the lunar surface. Eventually, the base could be used as a staging post for a crewed mission to Mars.