Bridenstine Pledges Exploration Of “Moon And Mars In Tandem” Written 18 May 2018

Aerospace America reports that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine addressed attendees at the Human to Mars Summit at George Washington University, stating the agency’s intent to explore “both the moon and Mars in tandem,” rather than focusing exclusively on lunar missions as the Trump administration has suggested. Bridenstine explained that landing humans on the moon’s surface will help the agency develop and prove technologies that “feed forward to Mars,” such as precision landing, life support systems, and methane engines. While he emphasized the need for industry to build spacecraft for NASA, Bridenstine also argued that the country needs a “government backbone to explore where an economy doesn’t yet exist.” According to NASA Human Mars Study team leader John Connolly, NASA funding for a manned lander intended for lunar missions begins in 2024, and that the lander will be built “sometime after that.” 
Full Story (Aerospace America | By Tom Risen)