Long-serving Nasa boss demoted as Trump grows impatient over moon mission

Long-serving Nasa boss demoted as Trump grows impatient over moon mission

Having served at the agency since 1977, Gerstenmaier had been in charge of some of NASA's most high-profile programs and is known as a steady and methodical force inside the halls of NASA's headquarters.

In March, US Vice President Mike Pence called on NASA to hasten its lunar initiatives and put people on the surface of the Moon within the next five years - a decision in part spurred by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed NASA to return to the lunar surface.

"Almost 50 years ago, the Apollo 11 mission captivated the world as two American astronauts were the first to step foot on the moon, forever changing space exploration", said in a statement Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

It also plans to do the same thing with Neil Armstrong's spacesuit in order to let the user examine what astronauts wore on the surface of the Moon.

"In an effort to meet this challenge, I have chose to make leadership changes to the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate".

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Gertenmaier was reassigned as a special assistant to Bridenstine's deputy, Jim Morhard.

Bridenstine placed Ken Bowersox, a former astronaut and vice president of Astronaut Safety and Mission Assurance for Elon Musk's SpaceX, as acting associate administrator for the human exploration wing.

In June Bridenstine told CNN Business NASA will need an estimated $20 billion to $30 billion besides NASA's current budget over the next five years for its Artemis moon project.

At the time, NASA's Moon to Mars page still listed 2028 as the target for putting astronauts on the moon.

"On the anniversary of the Moon landing, we're bringing you new ways to learn about this milestone of human achievement, including new perspectives and stories that celebrate the lesser-known figures who made it happen", Google said in a blog post.

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