“This is going to be a glorious day,” said Todd May, director of development for NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission.
On Monday, Mr. May and his fellow NASA officials published a free 4-minute video — featuring rainbows, colorful plumes and singing apple trees — to mark the occasion.
The goal of the mission is to redirect an asteroid and then send astronauts back to the moon. The mission, which will cost an estimated $4.5 billion, is due to launch in February 2021.
And yet, NASA has already raised questions about the mission’s feasibility. It comes at a time when NASA has not funded a manned lunar landing since 1972. “The mission is so far-fetched,” Ms. Halstead, of the Planetary Society, told The Atlantic, “I wonder if the [Moon] engines will last long enough for the astronauts to make it back.”
But Mr. May and his colleagues insist the mission is not science fiction.
He has pointed to the success of missions to the moon in 2004 and 2009. He also says that space agencies around the world can work on this mission together. “If we’re going to do this mission together,” he said, “we need to stay that way.”
Watch the short video of Mr. May and the mission here.
Mr. May also issued a call to fellow science and space agencies around the world. “We will go to the moon,” he said. “But we can do this better.”
“If we are going to go, I am going,” he told The Atlantic. “I want to go. We are going.”