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
NASA's most advanced Mars rover, Perseverance, launches from Earth on July 30, on a mission to seek out signs of ancient microbial life on what was once a river delta three-and-a-half billion years ago.
'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.
"We had a very difficult two years. We didn't have foreign exchange and couldn't pay our debts. We have avoided a huge crisis because we didn't default (payments). But I know it hasn't been easy for the people, I understand the difficulties they faced and still are facing,” he said in a televised address to the nation.
The flag hoisting ceremony was also held at the Pakistan Consulate General Dubai on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day. The ceremony was held in a manner keeping in view the local laws on social gatherings due to COVID-19.
Dewa has successfully installed 240 electric vehicle charging stations in different areas of Dubai such as government offices, airports, petrol stations, shopping malls, commercial offices, clinics and hospitals, residential complexes and establishments.
Consequently, Vijayan will not unfurl the tricolour at the main Independence Day function on Saturday, with Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran stepping in for him, in the ceremony, which will last only 10 minutes.