NASA Says First Person On Mars Will Likely Be a Woman

This LRO image shows areas of potential frost on the moon's surface

In an interview with Science Friday, Bridenstine discusses the high probability of female astronauts playing a big role in upcoming missions to the Moon and, in the future, Mars.

"In fact, it's likely to be a woman, the first next person on the moon", Bridenstine, said.

The U.S. space agency announced Monday, March 11 that it had selected nine teams to study "pieces of the Moon that have been carefully stored and untouched for almost 50 years".

The news comes ahead of the first ever all-female space walk planned by the space agency at the end of this month.

"NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent", he said.

John Keller, LRO deputy project scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland said, "This result is an important step in advancing the water story on the Moon and is a result of years of accumulated data from the LRO mission".

Jim Bridenstine - appointed by US President Donald Trump previous year - did not confirm a specific astronaut, but said that women are at forefront of the agency's plans. Jackie Kagey will be the lead spacewalk flight controller.

The most recent rover to be sent by Nasa is called InSight and has been sent to Mars to study marsquakes - that is earthquakes, but on Mars!

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NASA already is using private companies to make International Space Station shipments.

NASA's Stephanie Schierholz told 'It really is the luck of the draw.

Women now comprise 34 percent of the active astronauts at NASA, according to the agency. We feel lucky that it [the all-female spacewalk] just sort of happened to be in Women's History Month'.

NASA is pushing for a sustainable moon program this time around, as opposed to the come-and-go Apollo lunar landings a half-century ago. LAMP measures the layer of molecules found on the Moon's surface to see the changes that transpired through time.

Forget everything you've learned about men and Mars.

Bridenstine then made the shocking announcement that he wants to entrust the EM-1 mission in June 2020 to existing private launch systems, instead of waiting for SLS to be ready.

The plan, which has been in development over the last few years, relies on the developing Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, along with the Gateway orbital platform.

Construction on Gateway - an orbiting lunar outpost - is expected to begin construction as soon as 2022.

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