May 14 (UPI) -- President Trump has put forth a budget amendment requesting an additional $1.6 billion for NASA and its plans to return America to the moon.
If approved, the amendment would bring the space agency's total budget for fiscal year 2020 up to $22.6 billion.
"Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the moon, then Mars. I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to space in a BIG WAY!" Trump tweeted on Monday afternoon.
Trump and the White House have called on NASA to return astronauts to the moon by 2024. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has repeatedly vocalized his agency's intention to meet the president's challenge.
"For the first time in over 10 years, we have money in this budget for a return to the moon with humans," Bridenstine said in a speech earlier this year. "The president has given us the mission directive to return to the moon, and we're going to do that in short order."
Whether the Congress will approve Trump's latest budget amendment is unclear. Bridenstine urged Congress to offer bipartisan support to the agency's plans to return to the moon.
According to the budget amendment request, $1 billion of the extra funds would go toward the development of commercial human lunar landing systems. Another $651 million would be directed toward the development of the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft. The agency expects the world's largest rocket to power manned missions to the moon and Mars in the future.
The amendment request acknowledged that "additional funds will be required" in the years ahead.