A round trip to Mars can only take place when the Red Planet is positioned on the same side of the Sun as Earth.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator, said Tuesday that in order to achieve that goal, other parts of the program -- including a lunar landing -- need to move forward more quickly.
"We want to achieve a Mars landing in 2033," Bridenstine told lawmakers at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill.
"We can move up the Mars landing by moving up the Moon landing. The Moon is the proving ground," added the former Republican congressman, who was appointed by President Donald Trump.
NASA is racing to enact the plans of Trump, who dispatched Vice President Mike Pence to announce that the timetable for once again putting man on the Moon had been cut by four years to 2024.
NASA camera team carefully reconstructed the traverse of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong on a minute-by-minute basis.
The new date is politically significant: it would be the final year in Trump's eventual second term at the White House.
Many experts and lawmakers are concerned that NASA cannot make the deadline, especially given the major delays in development of its new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, which is being built by aerospace giant Boeing.
Any mission to Mars would take at least two years, given the distance to be traveled. Getting there alone would take six months, as opposed to the three days needed to reach the Moon.
A round trip to Mars can only take place when the Red Planet is positioned on the same side of the Sun as Earth -- that occurs about every 26 months, so the dates are 2031, 2033, and so on.
In 2017, a NASA budget bill set 2033 as the target date for the first manned mission to Mars, but NASA itself has talked about the "2030s" in its roadmap.
NASA wants to learn how to extract and use the tons of ice at the Moon's south pole.
"Water ice represents air to breathe, it represents water to drink, it represents fuel," Bridenstine said.
"The intent of course is to not just get humans to the surface of the Moon but prove that we can live and work on another world.
Democratic lawmaker Eddie Bernice Johnson, the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, asked Bridenstine to put a price tag on the new schedule.
The NASA chief said he would make his updated budget request by April 15.Agence France-Presse
'I'm so excited that we finally get to share what we have been working on for the past year!' the 29 year-old Bouman said.
NASA's Mars Helicopter has successfully completed a series of tests and is ready to take flight over the Red Planet, the US space agency said. "The next time we fly, we fly on Mars," MiMi Aung, Project Manager for Mars Helicopter at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement.
The US space agency NASA scrapped Monday a planned historic spacewalk by two women astronauts, citing a lack of available spacesuits that would fit them at the International Space Station.
Christina Koch will now perform tasks in space Friday with fellow American Nick Hague -- instead of Anne McClain as originally planned.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to nearly 11 months, which would set a record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, the US space agency said Wednesday.
Saudi King reaffirms Kingdom's ability to deal with the effects of cowardly attacks which do not only target vital installations of the Kingdom, but also target global oil supplies.
Key stakeholders in child welfare have strongly recommended a more socially-driven and collaborative approach to create community awareness to ensure child safety.
Hazza Al Mansoori said, “This mission is a great responsibility upon me, through which and the other future missions, I will do my best to help enrich science and knowledge with scientific experiments that will be conducted on the ISS in partnership with the competent teams from different countries.”
Dr Abdulaziz Almusallam, Chairman of the Sharjah Institute of Heritage (SIH), revealed details of the 19th edition of the Sharjah International Narrator Forum at a press conference organised by the institute on Tuesday morning in the SIH offices. The forum is expected to commence on Sept.24 at the Sharjah Expo Center and will last for three days.