The analysis was announced as part of Mr Bridenstine's discussion of the agency's Moon to Mars initiative and the 2020 budget. That's something that I, as a space geek, have been waiting years to see. It's scheduled to last about seven hours.
"I'm very excited", Welten said.
"The integration challenges are significant", an industry trade group, the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, said in a statement.
Without the Space Launch System, NASA would be forced to purchase two heavy-lift vehicle launches.
Bridenstine said the SLS program would continue, with a "full-up green run test" to be conducted at NASA's Stennis Space Center in MS in preparation for the crewed EM-2 launch, which is now scheduled for 2023. However, he did not mention that funding will be cut for the SLS by 17 percent because of numerous problems and delays.
Bridenstine said that NASA planners determined last week that the preparations for EM-1 wouldn't make the previously anticipated June 2020 launch date. "All of the above".
The agency is now exploring options for meeting that deadline using "commercial capabilities", Bridenstine said.
Trump's budget request also included plans faster return to the moon than is now scheduled. "These samples haven't been studied before, and we don't know what we're going to find". Bridenstine told the Senate panel that NASA may need further financial assistance from Congress.
"It is about having a sustainable human presence on and around the moon", he insisted. More recently, scientists have detected water molecules on Moon using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Bridenstine earlier said that Nasa's short-term objective is to get astronauts back on the moon and establish a permanent base there. "We want robots and landers and rovers". Then, they thermally desorb and can bounce to a nearby location that is cold enough for the molecule to stick or populate the Moon's exosphere, until temperatures drop and the molecules return to the surface. He also said the Trump administration aims to utilize the resources on the moon, including air, water, hydrogen and oxygen that could be used for rocket fuel. The proposed budget also includes money for human rated moon landers to facilitate travel between the moon and Gateway. What is especially cool about this sample is that the actual stratigraphy from below the surface is still intact, which could hold valuable information about how the moon formed, as well as the time and duration of certain geological phases.