Washington, September 22: NASA on Monday revealed its latest plan to send astronauts to the Moon in 2024, and estimated the cost of meeting that deadline at $28 billion, $16 billion of which would be spent on the lunar landing module, according to an AFP report.

The problem that lies here is Congress will face elections on November 3, and they will have to sign off on the financing for the project. In a phone briefing with journalists on the Artemis mission to return human beings to the Moon, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine mentioned that 'political risks' were often the biggest threat to NASA's work, and more so just ahead of such a crucial election. NASA Test-Fires SLS Rocket Booster for Future Lunar Missions.

If Congress approves the first tranche of $3.2 billion by Christmas, "we're still on track for a 2024 moon landing," Bridenstine said. The report mentioned that Barack Obama cancelled plans for a manned Mars mission after his predecessor spent billions of dollars on the project.

Three different projects are in competition to build the lunar lander that will carry two astronauts -- one of them a woman -- to the Moon from their vessel Orion.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 22, 2020 08:52 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).