FLORIDA, USA — NASA officials released new plans for their Moon2Mars project Monday afternoon.

In a statement, Administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke about NASA's budget and their mission to send more astronauts to the moon and eventually to Mars.

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2020 budget will slash NASA funding by $500 million. NASA officials are still calling the budget strong.

“President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 NASA budget is one of the strongest on record for our storied agency,” Jim Bridenstine said. “At $21 billion, this budget represents a nearly 6 percent increase over last year’s request and comes at a time of constrained resources across the federal government.”

Bridenstine focused his live address on NASA TV around a sustainable return to the moon and later missions to Mars.

“It’s about having a sustainable human presence on and around the moon,” Bridenstine said. “In order to achieve that objective we need a permanent command and service module in orbit around the moon, we call it gateway.”

Monday, Northrop Grumman displayed NASA's Lunar Orbital-Platform Gateway mock-up. It’s a mini space station that will house humans while orbiting the moon and the 2020 proposed budget fully funds the gateway.

Orion development is also fully funded.The spacecraft’s mission control is housed in Houston and is scheduled to carry humans around the moon. However, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket which will carry Orion has received budget and development setbacks. SLS is schedule to propel Orion around the moon in 2022.

To read Bridenstine's full statement, click here.

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