NASA boss says first person on Mars will 'absolutely' be female

That being said, Bridenstine also brought up NASA's plans for Mars and that, if everything goes to plan, the first step out of the vessel will be by a female astronaut.

In an interview with Science Friday, Bridenstine discusses the high probability of female astronauts playing a big role in upcoming missions to the Moon and, in the future, Mars.

The space agency says that $8 million has been awarded to these selected teams, which include four NASA research centers, the universities of Arizona, Cal-Berkeley and New Mexico, and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Mount Holyoke College/Planetary Science Institute.

The budget - $500m (£380m) less than a year ago - will "continue building the key components of the exploration campaign that will send astronauts to the moon and beyond", NASA said.

Bridenstine was asked whether women will be included in the agency's next trip to the moon.

Astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will get to float around in space for around seven hours at the end of the month.

'So NASA is committed to making sure that we have a broad and diverse set of talent'. "In fact, it is likely to be a woman, the first next person on the Moon". The budget request for 2020 provides $21 billion to the space agency, which is more than the budget request in 2019, but is $480 million less than what NASA ultimately received a year ago, according to Space News. They will head up on March 29 to work on upgrades to the International Space Station.

Women now comprise 34% of active NASA astronauts, the agency confirmed.

NASA's SLS, or Space Launch System, rocket, could do everything in one fell swoop.

A new $21 billion 2020 budget marks almost a six per cent increase from last year's.

'These results aid in understanding the lunar water cycle and will ultimately help us learn about accessibility of water that can be used by humans in future missions to the Moon, ' said Amanda Hendrix, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and lead author of the paper.

NASA is pushing for a sustainable moon program this time around, as opposed to the come-and-go Apollo lunar landings a half-century ago.

Forget everything you've learned about men and Mars.

This first mission coming up - essentially a three-week test flight - would carry no crew and would not land.

Vanessa Coleman