NASA chief on Moon return: “This will not be Lucy and the football again”

Enlarge / Jim Bridenstine has been NASA’s administrator for only two weeks, but he’s making a mark already. (credit: NASA)

In his first public speech as NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine had a short and clear message for the aerospace community: “We are going to the Moon.”

Bridenstine’s address to a lunar conference at NASA Headquarters was a mere five minutes long, but during that time he demonstrated a refreshing grasp of space-policy history. While acknowledging the space agency’s lamentable efforts to return to the Moon after the Apollo program, Bridenstine also promised that this time would be different.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush announced the Space Exploration Initiative, a long-range commitment toward the human exploration of deep space, beginning with a return to the Moon. “Major parts of that policy went forward, but establishing permanence on the Moon was abandoned,” Bridenstine said Tuesday.

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NASA chief on Moon return: “This will not be Lucy and the football again”