The White House Office of Management and Budget has warned Congress that NASA’s Artemis program to return to the moon needs more funding and that without increased funding, NASA will struggle to achieve its goal of a manned moon landing by 2024. The Office of Management and Budget believes that the $1.6 billion exploratory research and development budget for fiscal 2020 is too small to be increased to $2.3 billion.
NASA’s planned heavy rocket, Space Launch System (SLS), for a return to the moon, will cost more than $2 billion for a single launch, the Office of Management and Budget also revealed. The SLS rocket is scheduled for its first launch in 2021. The White House estimates do not include research and development costs. Since 2011, the U.S. Congress has allocated nearly $2 billion a year to SLS rocket development, and when research and development costs are taken into account, the cost of a single launch of sLS rockets would be close to $4 billion.