At the IAC (International Astronautical Congress), Jim Bridenstine, administrator of NASA gave a crucial speech where he swerved from the Artemis’ policy line where he usually states that they are going to launch the 1st woman and the second man on the lunar surface- suggesting that NASA’s next moon mission could have several women astronauts on the lunar grounds, provided upon the selection.
Bridenstine commented about the astronaut corps saying that currently NASA has great women with it and it’s possible that someone already present in the team of spaceflyers might be appointed for the moon-landing program of the Artemis III. However, the crew for the lunar mission is yet to be decided upon.
This comment was made by Bridenstine among many months of talk that involved astronaut corps’ women, mainly surrounding the 1st all-woman spacewalk. Due to the problem related to available spacesuits’ sizing issue on the ISS (International Space Station), the program was postponed for months. Now, as the historic spacewalk by all-female has been achieved on October 18, Bridenstine’s statement aimed mostly on the upcoming times- that is a lunar exploration mission where not only females will be included but also several nations than the 1960s-1970s’ Apollo lunar mission.
It was emphasized by the NASA administrator that 1st boot prints on the moon with the new Artemis mission will be left behind by Americans. However, he further added that there would be involvement of international partners in Artemis. During a meeting, initially this week, at IAC, Bridenstine stated that the 26 interested nations met him to discuss Artemis and their involvement in it. Even the ESA (European Space Agency) is to talk about contributing to Artemis at its ministerial Space 19+ assembly in November. Commitment to join NASA’s Artemis in Feb 2020 has already been made by Canada where it has decided to make GLSS (Gateway lunar space station) a Canadarm3 robotic arm. Bridenstine further emphasized the resolution of landing humans back on moon in 2024; however, the agency is also trying not to give any undue pressure to its contractors such as to meet the possible timeframe of reaching moon at any cost.