Jim Bridenstine is the chief of NASA and he says the US “space force” visualized by President Donald Trump is necessary to safeguard the interests of space, according to Sky News. In his opinion, space is getting crowded with some nations “intent on destroying it.”

He mentioned that countries like the US, Russia, China and, most recently, India have acquired capabilities to join the space race. Obviously, there is a necessity to introduce some sort of policing so that the global interests remain unharmed. He feels that space needs protection and must be preserved for the good of the world in terms of various aspects.

Sky News reports that Jim Bridenstine was in favor of Donald Trump’s plans of the “space force” which would be an addition to America’s military strength. Such a setup would act as a deterrent to those who might harbor their own ideas of exploiting the resources that space offers. The NASA administrator made these observations during an interview to a reputed media outlet on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the moon landings.

Future plans of NASA

Jim Bridenstine said the focus of NASA was on the Artemis mission.

That would be the plank to have American astronauts on the moon by 2024. Then will follow the mission to Mars. He added that there have been efforts in the past to revive the Apollo era but that did not happen. It was not because of any technical risk, but because of other considerations. When a changed political scenario emerges, many programs have to go to the back burner.

NASA's ambition is to put the first woman on the moon in 2024 and it is tying up with the private industry. His belief is that the future lies in space economy and it will depend on mining of the resources available on the Moon, lunar tourism and research.

Sky News goes on to add that a section of politicians is wary of threats posed by China.

Last year, a Washington-based think tank warned about the growing influence of the country in space-related activities. It tested some weapons, applications of robotics and jamming technologies.

2024 Moon mission an ambitious task

According to Nature, President Donald Trump’s team has set an ambitious deadline of 2024 for Americans to return to the moon. The space agency will have to overcome challenges to pull off such a task within a time span of just four and a half years. These challenges would be technical, political and financial. NASA’s Artemis program will have to depend on external agencies for logistic support in the form of rocket and lander.

China plans to land astronauts on the Moon by the mid-2030s.

It has been launching unmanned lunar missions over the past decade. In January, its Chang’e-4 probe became the first spacecraft from any nation to land on the Moon’s far side. The country has many robotic missions lined up. Its long-term plan appears to be to prepare the groundwork for a future Moonbase.