Despite protests from Texas lawmakers, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will manage the agency's plans to build a lunar landing system that will carry the next man and the first woman to the surface of the moon in 2024, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Friday, according to CBS News.
"The program that will be managed here in northern Alabama is going to land the first woman on the south pole of the moon, and that landing system is being managed by one of NASA's best engineers," Bridenstine said.
An artist's impression of a possible lunar lander design, showing an ascent vehicle, carrying an astronaut crew, blasting off from the surface of the moon.
Bridenstine made the announcement standing at the base of a towering test version of the 149-foot-tall liquid hydrogen tank that will be used in the first stage of the huge Space Launch System — SLS — rocket being built by Boeing to carry astronauts back to the moon.
The Artemis moon program is the centerpiece of the Trump administration's push to return astronauts to the surface of the moon by 2024, four years earlier than NASA originally planned.
The Johnson Space Center in Houston is managing all aspects of the program as it relates to astronauts, crew training, life support systems and mission design.
From there, the lander's descent module will make a rocket-powered landing on the moon, initially carrying two astronauts.