Last week, Donald Trump sent Mike Pence to relay a message to NASA demanding that the agency speed up its timeline for landing crewed missions on the lunar surface for the first time in decades. Pence’s address to the National Space Council was clear and to-the-point, but it was also completely unrealistic and probably won’t actually change anything.

Nevertheless, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine — who was appointed by Trump shortly after he took office — is going to try to make it happen. The odds are firmly stacked against NASA cutting four or more years off of its original Moon landing forecast, but with Trump issuing thinly-veiled threats to “change the agency, not the mission” if NASA can’t make it happen, Bridenstine has

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