This illustration provided by NASA on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, shows a proposed design for an Artemis program ascent vehicle leaving the surface of the moon, separating from a descent vehicle. On Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, NASA picked its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to lead development of a lunar lander to carry astronauts back to the moon. (NASA via AP)

NASA picks Alabama's 'Rocket City' for lunar lander job

August 16, 2019 - 4:20 pm

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA has picked Alabama's 'Rocket City' to lead development of the next lunar lander for astronauts.

Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville on Friday beat out Johnson Space Center in Houston, which managed the Apollo lunar lander a half-century ago. Members of Congress from Texas had asked that the decision be reconsidered.

The new lunar lander — not yet built or even designed — is meant to carry an American woman and a man to the moon's south pole by 2024.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says Marshall is the best in the world at rocket propulsion, a critical part of lunar landers. Marshall is where NASA's Saturn V (five) moon rockets were developed back in the 1960s.

More than a third of the 360 program jobs will be at Marshall.

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