He also said the United States will have astronauts on the moon again in less than 10 years and this time, he says, 'we will stay'. We have the first all-female spacewalk happening this month at the end of March, which is of course, National Women's month. In an interview with Science Friday, a science and technology radio show, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that if thing go as planned, the next American astronaut to return to the moon will also be a woman - who would then be the first woman on the moon.
NASA announced last week that it's planning for the first all-female spacewalk later this month, which is coincidentally Women's History Month. So NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent.
Both McClain and Koch were part of the 2013 astronaut class, half of which were women.
Anne McCain and Christina Koch will jet off to the International Space Station (ISS) in two days.
NASA's Stephanie Schierholz told Space.com: 'It really is the luck of the draw.
NASA has come a long way since 1978, when the first six women joined NASA's astronaut corps.
Pieces of that Lunar Gateway were initially set to launch on an enhanced version of NASA's upcoming Space Launch System rocket, but the budget document suggests a delay in that enhanced SLS development and allows for some components to be launched by commercial rockets. "These samples were deliberately saved so we can take advantage of today's more advanced and sophisticated technology to answer questions we didn't know we needed to ask", Lori Glaze, acting director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement.
"By studying these precious lunar samples for the first time, a new generation of scientists will help advance our understanding of our lunar neighbor and prepare for the next era of exploration of the Moon and beyond,"explained Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate".
A view of the Moon's south pole showing where reflectance and temperature data indicate the possible presence of surface water ice.
Construction on Gateway - an orbiting lunar outpost - is expected to begin construction as soon as 2022.