Washington, D.C. – Among the many struggles of NASA, getting sufficient funding from Congress is one of the most frustrating and persistent challenges that the agency has to overcome. During the Artemis Human Landing System (HLS) selection campaign, Congress refused to give NASA the $2 billion that it requested, instead giving only $800 million. NASA was then forced to pick only one lander (SpaceX's Lunar Starship), which displeased Congress; according to Congress, two landers will provide more competition and a healthier business environment. Since then, Congress has provided NASA with more money, however, it's still not enough to select the next cheapest lander, the National Team's Integrated Lander Vehicle (ILV).
So, NASA created a strategy that draws from the local businesses of neighborhood 6 year-olds: lemonade stands.
"The plan is to have over 1,400 lemonade stands spread across the country to generate revenue to fund our second HLS lander selection. Lemonade stands are typically thought of as a one-location stand; we're creating a chain. Since lemonade stands take up little space, this allows us to pack over a thousand locations in the country."
Those were the words of NASA administrator Bill Nelson when Apogee interviewed him. Nelson also revealed the tentative name of the chain: "LemoNASA." Apogee received an exclusive first look at the choices that are going to be offered to the customers, including: regular lemonade, pink lemonade, the "Hydrolox Shake," the "Geostationary Smoothie," the "LEO Tea," and many more drinks; cookies are an option too.
Nelson stated that the stands will begin operating January of next year, so if you've got time, support NASA and the Artemis program by stopping by one!
NOTE: This is not real (duh)
Original images: NASA
Photoshop: Space Boi