NASA's First Female Spaceflight Program Head to Oversee the US Return to the Moon

© AP Photo / NASAApollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, the first men to land on the moon, plant the U.S. flag on the lunar surface, July 20, 1969. Photo was made by a 16mm movie camera inside the lunar module, shooting at one frame per second
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Buzz Aldrin, the first men to land on the moon, plant the U.S. flag on the lunar surface, July 20, 1969. Photo was made by a 16mm movie camera inside the lunar module, shooting at one frame per second - Sputnik International
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As Kathy Lueders explained, she was so "overwhelmed" by the potential tasks that were lying ahead, she initially "didn't really thing about being first".

Kathy Lueders, who previously headed NASA's Commercial Crew Program, is going to oversee the space agency's upcoming manned mission to the moon, space.com reports.

According to the media outlet, Lueders is the first woman to lead NASA's human spaceflight program after she was appointed Associate Administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

During a teleconference on 18 June, Lueders said that when NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine asked me if she would take this role, she “didn't really think about being first".

"I was more overwhelmed with the potential tasks in front of me," she said.

​As he formally introduced Lueders during the teleconference, Bridenstine outlined the tasks that she and her team will have to handle.

"We have a big agenda to go back to the moon by 2024 with the next man and the first woman," he said. "I really believe that Kathy Lueders is the type of person that we need leading here in order to achieve those outcomes."

NASA, together with its partners – including the Canadian Space Agency, the European Space Agency and the Japan Space Exploration Agency – is seeking to send the next man and the first woman to the Moon in 2024 as per the Artemis program.

Along with its goal to send a manned spaceflight to the moon for the first time since 1972, NASA is also seeking to establish a permanent presence on Earth's only natural satellite.

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