In an interview after a speech at a workshop on proposed future astrophysics missions on 1 April, Bridenstine said the plan under development will push forward the earlier goal of a human lunar landing by 2028, Space.com reported.
“What we're doing right now is trying to assess very quickly what would be required to achieve the end state of boots on the moon in 2024,” he said. “The plan is all there. A lot of the pieces of the architecture are already there. We’re just going to have to pull a number of them forward.”
The announcement came shortly after Vice President Mike Pence announced the new goal of landing humans at the south pole of the moon by 2024 in his March 26 speech in Huntsville, saying that NASA already had such a plan. Bridenstine said that the plan Pence mentioned referred to the earlier goal of humans on the moon by 2028, however, now they are working quickly on a new plan for a 2024 landing.
NASA will then work with the White House, including the Office of Management and Budget, to develop a "consolidated position from the administration" on that approach and its cost before delivering it to Congress, according to Bridenstine.
Bridenstine also noted that they are open to almost any means to achieve the 2024 landing goal: "I'm taking nothing off the table, and we're not compromising safety. Anything we don't need to do we can delay. There are future launches, there are future things we can test, but right now, how do we get boots on the moon in 2024?”
However, in his remarks at The Space Astrophysics Landscape for the 2020s and Beyond meeting, Bridenstine noted that NASA requires additional overall funding and would not take money from other parts of the agency, like science, as they had had previously tried to “'cannibalize' one part of NASA to fund another part of NASA,” and it did not work well.