"Certainly, we support this effort and endeavor."
To the Moon
Senate Democrats and the White House have reiterated their support for NASA's Artemis program, which has the goal of returning the first human astronauts to the surface of the Moon as soon as 2024.
Press secretary Jen Psaki said during a conference today that the government will work with industry leaders to send "another man and a woman to the Moon, which is very exciting." Psakis also called the Moon a "waypoint to Mars."
"Certainly, we support this effort and endeavor," she added.
In a Wednesday letter signed by 11 Democratic senators, lawmakers urged the Biden administration to fully fund the human landing system initiative.
"Developing the next generation crewed lunar lander is an essential step in returning astronauts to the Moon for the first time in half a century, including the historic milestone of landing the first woman on the Moon," reads the letter.
The senators also urged NASA "to proceed with the planned selection and to include all necessary funding for [the Human Landing System] in your FY 2022 budget request."
Overall, significant budget constraints have put a squeeze on the space agency's efforts to develop a human landing system capable of lowering astronauts to the Moon's surface, as Ars Technica reports.
That tracks with what the new head of NASA, Steve Jurczyk, told Futurism earlier this week: that without full funding for the human landing system, a 2024 Moon landing will be logistically challenging.
READ MORE: Senate Democrats send a strong signal of support for Artemis Moon program [Ars Technica]