Women very much involved in NASA's plans for Moon and beyond

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Two months to blast off!

A group of NASA astronauts are headed to the International Space Station, hoping to learn, among other things, how male and female bodies react differently to extreme conditions.

They'll spend six months there, researching the impacts of long-term space travel on the body.

It's the type of information that's especially helpful when it comes to future missions to the Moon and Mars.

"We have a very diverse astronaut core, and most likely, one of the women going to the moon is probably already within that core," said NASA Flight Director Pooja Jesrani. "So, to know those women, and know one of them might be going to the moon is even cooler."

This will be astronaut Jessica Meir's first trip to the ISS.

"We know all the boxes you need to check and all of that but I don't think you're really prepared until you're sitting on the rocket," she explained. "I hope little girls and really everybody growing up realizes that any dream is possible with enough hard work and luck and the right things falls into place, your dreams can really come true. That sounds trite, but we are proof of that here today."

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NASA hopes a proposed budget of $21 billion will help in their efforts to get astronauts back on the moon, and then to Mars.

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