Orion is intended to return astronauts to the moon by 2024, a goal Pence set in March. This programme, Artemis, is presented as a step towards commercial exploitation of the moon’s resources and a permanent presence there by 2028.
- Some sense of the still-speculative market potential of lunar and private, crewed spaceflight will emerge in the coming years.
- Foreign institutions may get opportunities to partner with NASA, but will be wary of US plans that seem so volatile.
- A successful landing in 2024 would give Pence a well-timed boost should he run for president that year.