Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

CBP Seizes $60,000 Worth Of Meth Hidden Under Child Booster Seats; Juneteenth Celebrations Underway Across U.S.; NASA Aims For First Lunar Mission In 50 Years; State Department: 3 Americans Missing in Ukraine; Texas Committee: Uvalde Police Will Testify Voluntarily Monday; NY Times: Uvalde Officer Passed Up Shot at Gunman for Fear of Hitting Children; Philadelphia Firefighter Dead after Building Collapse; GA, AZ GOP Officials to Testify about Trump's Pressure Campaign; CDC Director Signs Off on Vaccines for Children Under 5. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired June 18, 2022 - 20:00   ET




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's this assumption it's always going to be there until it's not there.

UNIDENTIFIED CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These two American fighters may well have been captured by the very Russians they've been fighting.

PIP, FORMER U.S. SERVICE MEMBER: We suspect they were knocked out by either the T-72 shooting at them or the mine.

JOY BLACK, ANDY HUYNH'S FIANCE: He really had this gnawing on his heart and burden to serve the people however he can. I just want to see him back safely.


JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: I'm Jessica Dean in Washington. Pamela Brown has the evening off. And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM.

There are now three Americans missing in Ukraine after they joined fighters there to battle invading Russian army. For the loved ones of these missing men, the anxiety, the fear, the worry is intense.

For the Biden administration, it's a troubling situation as the State Department works to find them.

CNN's Barbara Starr has the latest developments.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was in the fighting north of Kharkiv where two Americans went missing last week, less than five miles from the Russian border. The U.S. government working with Ukrainian authorities to find them.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have been briefed. We don't know where they are. But I want to reiterate. Americans should not be going to Ukraine now.

STARR: Now this photo from a Russian blogger has emerged of Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh appearing to be bound in the back of a Russian military vehicle.

Video later emerging of an interview they did with pro-Russian media. CNN is not showing the video as the two appear to be speaking under duress.

Now the State Department is working to verify their status.

BUNNY DRUEKE, MOTHER OF ALEX DRUEKE: They said that there is a photograph that is being circulated on the Russian media and they're working hard to verify it. We're very hopeful.

STARR: Retired Staff Sergeant Drueke, an Army Reservist from 2002 to 2014, served in both Kuwait and Iraq.

Drueke's mother, Bunny, tells CNN, her son wanted to lend his skills to train those who were coming to Ukraine to fight.

DRUEKE: He felt that if Putin wasn't stopped now, he would just become bolder with every success and that, eventually, he might end up on American shores.

STARR: Former Marine Corporal Huynh served in the Marine Corps from 2014 to 2018. Last serving in Camp Pendleton, California.

Huynh's fiance, Joy Black, describes to CNN that the last time she heard from him.

BLACK: He told me he loved me very much and that he would be unavailable for two to three days.

He really had this gnawing in his heart and this big burden on him to go and serve the people however he can.

And just I know it's not a great situation but I'm still very proud of him and I just want to see him back safely.

STARR: One of their comrades in Ukraine, whose identity we are keeping hidden, exclusively telling CNN Sam Kiley, Drueke and Huynh were captured repelling a Russian armored assault.

PIP: We suspect they were knocked out by either the T-72 tanks shooting at them or a blast of the mine.

STARR: A Kremlin spokesperson told CNN, "We do not know anything about it," when asked about the missing Americans.

(GUNFIRE) STARR: The U.S. also confirming a third American went missing in Ukraine in April.

CNN has learned he is retired Captain Grady Kurpasi, a 20-year veteran of the Marine Corps.

A friend who served with Kurpasi for years, says he has cellphone data that shows Kurpasi could be being held in the Russian controlled city of Kherson.

But acknowledges they do not have proof that he's alive.

DON TURNER, GRADY KURPASI'S FRIEND: I think it was a calling to help and just be humanitarian. There was no real plan to his mission. Just he wanted to go out there and try and help.

STARR: All three of these Americans, having served in the military, puts them in unique danger if captured by Russians.

MAJ. GEN. JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: You routinely are swimming in or immersed in these kinds of sensitive programs. I'm not certain the level of that exposure. But I can guarantee you the Russians are going to try to extract that information.

STARR: Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.


DEAN: And joining me now to discuss, CNN military analysts and retired generals, James "Spider" Marks and Mark Hertling.

Generals, great to see you.

I also want to reiterate that CNN is choosing not to broadcast the video of the two men because it does show them under duress.

General Marks, let's start with you.

Talk to me what kind of person is being attracted to the battle Ukraine is fighting, to go in over there.


MARKS: Oh, my goodness. I mean, look, we have a ton of incredible veterans that have got some amazing experience over the course of the last couple of decades of combat that Mark -- Mark Hertling and I have been a part of.

So they've got this sense of service. They want to make a difference. They see what Russia is doing to Ukraine.

The challenge is clearly, look, this is combat zone. This is a war zone. I would give these great Americans an "A"-plus for initiative but a "C"-minus for judgment.

This does not make sense because of the legitimate challenges we're seeing. And it really puts America at a disadvantage. You know, there are limits to our influence to try to extract them.

DEAN: And General Hertling, I want to play a little more from Sam Kylie's interview. We can listen to that.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what advice would you give finally for anybody thinking of wanting to join the legion?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, wow. Well, if you have no military background, if you don't have any combat experience, if you expect to come here with air support, intense helicopter support, then stay home because that is not the case.

It is the Russian army, and they have massive amounts of artillery. They have massive amounts of armor. And the Ukrainians are giving it their damnedest.


DEAN: And, General Hertling, do you think it's a wise decision? Do you agree? We heard President Biden and Barbara's story before this saying don't go to Ukraine right now.

Do you agree with President Biden?

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, I'm going to add to what my friend Spider just said, Jessica. This is certainly an emotional issue. But I'm going to provide, as a former commander on the battlefield, some unfortunate facts.

In late February and early March, President Biden made statements telling U.S. citizens not to go to Ukraine. He echoed that again today.

And there's a reason for that. It's because the U.S. actually has a law against individual U.S. citizens getting involved in foreign wars. It's called the Neutrality Act.

It was originally written in 1794, specifically by George Washington during the French Revolution because he didn't want soldiers going to France to fight for Lafayette. Updated in the late 1800s. Again several times in the 1930s.

It basically says U.S. citizens, acting on their own and attacking the armed forces of another foreign state, could inadvertently draw our nation into a war we don't want.

These laws are part of a slate of U.S. code provisions with a common principle, and that is the U.S. government, not individual Americans taking action on their own, determine foreign policy.

And specifically the question of America, the people and its territories have a fighting war and foreign war.

So while many people are admirably wanting to contribute as fighters against Russia, going to fight for another country, putting yourself in harm's way on the battlefield, is not -- these soldiers are not considered combatants under the laws of land warfare.

And in fact, they could be described by Russia, and they probably will be, as either saboteurs, terrorists, insurgents, mercenaries, or all sorts of other things.

I suspect Russia will not look favorably on freeing these individuals, as Spider just said. They will exact a very high cost.

And I also would suggest the capture of these individuals may hinder the U.S. getting other citizens, that are being held in Russia for criminal charges or trumped-up charges, getting them out of Russia.

So this is a very unfortunate situation. And where it's emotionally charged to say we love to help Ukraine, as Americans, unless you're enlisting as part of Ukraine's army, there's some legal implications to all this.

DEAN: General Marks, you say, as former U.S. military, Russians could try to extract military intel from these presumed captives. What concerns you the most about that?

MARKS: Well, we certainly don't know, or at least we can assume the type of captivity these individuals will be in. And first and foremost, we'll probably get very little information on what that looks like.

But all these soldiers and Marines, all these servicemembers are exposed to sensitive programs that exist in the military just as a matter of breathing air. Just as routine -- the routine course of doing their jobs, they get exposed to certain things. That's valuable information.

I would state quite clearly that each of these individuals probably has information about those Ukrainian units that they were supporting, less so in terms of what U.S. capabilities are.

But let's not forget they are former soldiers and Marines. They have information. They have skill sets. The Russians would be very interested in trying to extract that and use that to their advantage.

DEAN: And, General Hertling, more broadly, as Russia becomes more and more diplomatic isolated, which we're beginning to see, Putin is vowing to accomplish all his goals in Ukraine, and said, although, he's not threatening anyone with nuclear weapons, he'll protect Russia's sovereignty if necessary.


So at this point, how do you think that ends?

HERTLING: Well, you know, Spider and I have both said this multiple times, Jessica. We can't look into the mind of Vladimir Putin. We don't know how this is going to end. The only thing we do know is this war for him has been a strategic

failure on so many levels. What he's looking for now is an out. He's looking for some type of what I would say is a tactical victory because he has not reached any of his strategic objectives.

So, you know, I don't know what's going to happen next. He's certainly trying to look for an out in my view. Will that come through diplomacy or will it come through continued attacks on the battlefield?

And I suggest the Russian forces are gradually getting weaker while Ukraine's forces are gradually getting stronger.

DEAN: Generals Mark Hertling and Spider Marks, our thanks to you both for your analysis on this Saturday night. Thank you.


MARKS: Thanks, Jessica.

Thanks, Mark.

DEAN: Let's turn now to the Uvalde school shooting investigation. The Texas House committee investigating the rampage says city police will voluntarily testify on Monday. But there's no sign yet that the embattled school police chief will appear.

CNN's Rosa Flores is in Texas with even more new details about the chaos once the attack began -- Rosa?

ROSA FLORES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jessica, this shines light on the law enforcement response that day.

According to the county sheriff, he said he arrived on scene after 12:00 p.m. on that day, that he approached the scene from the southeast side of the campus. According to Texas DPS the shooter entered the school on the west side.

He said when he arrived on scene police had already setup a perimeter. And he remembers it being chaotic. He had his portable radio with him and he could hear radio frequency from Texas DPS and traffic going back and forth, but he could not hear Uvalde P.D. and Uvalde school district radio traffic.

I asked him who was in charge at the scene at the time? He said he never heard anyone say that they were in charge of the scene.

According to Texas DPS, they say it was Pete Arradondo, something he refuted in an interview with the "Texas Tribune."

Shortly after he arrived, an off-duty Border Patrol officer was asking for help evacuating students. So he helped evacuate four to five classrooms.

Then he said that he heard that the shooter was found and he got closer to where the shooting actually happened.

I asked, why didn't officers go in to stop the shooter sooner? And he said that, from where he was, he never heard gunshots.

Now, Jessica, if you're like me, you're wondering how's it possible someone can be on the scene on that campus and not hear gunshots?

Well, I talked to a woman who lived across the street from the school but away from where the shooting happened, and she also told me she never heard gunshots on that day -- Jessica?

DEAN: Rosa Flores, for us, thanks so much.

And another astonishing moment that might have changed the course of this tragedy. "The New York Times" reporting a Uvalde city police officer, who himself had an A.R.-15 rifle, hesitated when he had a brief moment to shoot the gunman before the killer went into the school.

A senior sheriff's deputy who spoke to the officer tells "The Times" he was worried about his bullets hitting a child.


J. DAVID GOODMAN, HOUSE BUREAU CHIEF, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": To be fair, the deputy sheriff I talked to, who also responded to the scene at Robb Elementary School, said this was a very difficult and fraught decision for an officer.

When the officers arrived, the gunman was shooting outside the school. And those officers felt they were under fire themselves.

And worried, were they to open fire at this gunman and they missed, and unfortunately, in that scenario, may have hit a child, that may might have been blamed in some way for doing the wrong thing.

So that hesitation, that moments sort of hesitation -- we're really talking about seconds here, according to this deputy sheriff -- that that allowed this gunman to go inside.


DEAN: The Uvalde Police Department has not responded to the "The Times'" request for comment.

In Alabama, a third senior citizen has died from Thursday's mass shooting inside a church. The latest victim an 84-year-old woman who was attending a potluck dinner at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in a small town near Birmingham. Her family has asked that her name be withheld.

We're also learning someone attending that gathering was able to grab the 70-year-old suspect and hold him until police arrived.

You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. And coming up this hour, legendary artist, Chaka Khan, here to talk about tomorrow's Juneteenth's celebration for freedom concerts.

[20:15:05] Also ahead, authorities in California seized $60,000 worth of meth hidden in a child's booster seat.

Meantime, a fallen firefighter hailed a hero after a building collapses in Philadelphia.

Plus, everything you need to know about NASA's plan to send humans to the moon for the first time in 50 years.

We'll be right back.


DEAN: In Philadelphia, earlier today, a firefighter killed and several others injured when a building they were working in collapsed. Four other firefighters and one city official had to be rescued.


CRAIG MURPHY, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, PHILADELPHIA FIRE DEPARTMENT: People are just starting to decompress because we just finished up pulling our brother out of this place. And -- our brothers out of this place. And it's going to be a rough few weeks coming up.



DEAN: The Philadelphia mayor tweeting his condolences, writing, in part, "Grieving with the members of the Philadelphia Fire Department and all of Philadelphia who lost one of our own in the line of duty today."

Reporter Beccah Hendrickson, with CNN affiliate, WPVI, was at the scene a short time ago.


BECCAH HENDRICKSON, WPVI REPORTER: We know that this fire originally started just before 2:00 this morning. Take a look at this video from the 300 block of Indiana Avenue where the fire started just before 2:00 this morning.

It seemed like a routine fire. And then around 3:24, it turned to tragedy when there was a collapse.

We know that several floors in the building collapsed. They described it as a pancake collapse. Meaning that there were voids that were created during this. And several people became trapped under the rubble.

Five firefighters, one LNI inspector, the other five people who were injured in this were taken to the hospital and we're told that they are recovering. We're working to learn more.

But, again, devastating news this morning from the Fairhill section. One firefighter is dead after this catastrophic collapse.


DEAN: And Philadelphia fire officials releasing the name of the firefighter killed in the building collapse. This is Lieutenant Sean Williamson, 51 years old, a 27-year veteran of the fire department.

And the mayor saying in a statement, "For 27 years, he dedicated his life to protecting the people of our city. I share my deepest condolences with his loved ones, the Philly fire department, and everyone who knew him."

The January 6th House Select Committee is gearing up for more public hearings in this next week. On Tuesday, they plan to detail how the Trump team tried to get states to illegally change their 2020 election results.

And among those expected to testify, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers. Both Republican officials say Trump pressured them to help steal the election. Neither of them bowed to that pressure.

CNN's Marshall Cohen is joining me now.

And, Marshall, it's safe to assume we're now going to hear that infamous phone call between Donald Trump and election officials in Georgia. We've heard that, but we'll probably learn more as well.

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: It could just be the tip of the iceberg, that phone call.

But, look, if last week was all about how Donald Trump tried to pressure Mike Pence, his own V.P., to overturn the election, this week, Tuesday's hearing is going to be all about how Trump tried to do that same gambit on the states, specifically in the states he lost, like Arizona and Georgia.

So three witnesses so far confirmed for Tuesday. As you mentioned, Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state in Georgia. One of his top deputies, Gabe Sterling, who was a pretty loud voice at the time, debunking conspiracy theories, pushing back against Donald Trump when things got particularly heated down there.

And also Rusty Bowers, the House speaker in Arizona, who also was the subject of a pretty serious pressure campaign by Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani to try to wipe away Joe Biden's victory and appoint a friendly slate of Republican electors who could cast illegitimate votes in the Electoral College.

But just to paint a picture of what we're going to be hearing, let's go back one year, year and a half, and listen to some of that pressure that was caught on tape.

Donald Trump, Brad Raffensperger, just a few days before January 6th. This is how the sitting president tried to twist his arm to get him to mess around with the vote tallies. (BEGIN AUDIO FEED)

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, look, all I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.


COHEN: Yes, right. Just one more.

It wasn't really about a legitimate election or election integrity. It was just about messing with the results and trying to steal a victory.

The committee, the January 6th Select Committee says this is so much bigger than just one day January 6th. It's called the January 6th committee, but it's so much more.

They say this was a multi-step, multi-state, multi-month process. And, Jess, they call it an attempted coup.

DEAN: And it's interesting. We continue to hear, Marshall, from Republican officials, Republican -- a host of Republicans telling this story in their own ways.

COHEN: All three of these guys who are testifying on Tuesday, they're all Republicans. They're all conservatives. They all endorsed Donald Trump in 2020 and voted for Donald Trump in 2020.

But they wouldn't cross the Rubicon. They wouldn't violate their oath. They stood up for the rule of law.

And now they find themselves basically testifying against a Republican president in front of the American public.

DEAN: All right, Marshall Cohen, thanks so much. We know you'll be watching on Tuesday.


And you are in the CNN NEWSROOM. The CDC has signed off on Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for the youngest Americans. Next, important information for parents on how soon children under 5 can get their shots.


DEAN: CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, has officially signed off on both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines for kids aged 6 months to 5 years old.

CNN health reporter, Jacqueline Howard, has more on the vaccines and how quickly children can start receiving them -- Jacqueline?


JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH CORRESPONDENT: Jessica, the White House says shots could begin as early as this week. Pediatrician offices and pharmacies will be the sites of where these vaccines will be administered.


And remember, children under 5 will have two options, Moderna or Pfizer. The FDA authorized both for children as young as 6 months old. Moderna is administered in two doses, given four weeks apart as a primary series. Pfizer is administered in three doses as a primary series. So the first two doses are given three weeks apart. The third dose is given at least eight weeks after the second dose.

And the dosage is different for each vaccine. Moderna is given as 25 micrograms, each dose, that's for kids five and younger, and that's half of the 50 micrograms given to older kids, and a quarter of the 100 micrograms given to adolescents and adults. Pfizer is given as three micrograms per dose for children younger than five, that's smaller than the 10 micrograms given to older kids, and the 30 micrograms given to adolescents and adults.

For both vaccines when it comes to side effects. Those include pain at the injection site fever, headache, chills, and fatigue. And both companies, Moderna and Pfizer, have said that these child sized doses of vaccine appear to elicit immune responses in kids that are similar to what we've seen in adults so far. Jessica.

DEAN: Jacqueline Howard, thanks so much for that update.

Let's go down to the U.S.-Mexico border where Customs and Border Protection officers seized $60,000 worth of meth that was hidden in child booster seats.

A car with two adults and four children was stopped on an interstate just north of a California checkpoint. That's when a police dog sniffed out nearly 27 pounds of meth tucked underneath the children's seats. The driver of that car, a U.S. citizen was arrested while the children and their mother were released.

Juneteenth celebrations are underway this weekend. And tomorrow night, CNN celebrates the holiday with an incredible slate of black artists and visionaries. One of the performers, the legendary Chaka Khan, is here with a preview coming up next.



DEAN: Festivities are underway for our nation's newest federal holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. And Juneteenth is tomorrow, but parades were held across the country today. The celebration in Buffalo, New York was bittersweet. People there still grieving from the racist mass shooting last month.

Governor Kathy Hochul was there to show her support. And she spoke about the white supremacist ideology still lingering in America today.


GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): That long journey toward real civil rights may have started back at that time, but it is still unfinished business, as we have seen today when there's still rampant racism. And as we saw manifests itself here on May 14th, white supremacist will have such hate in their hearts that they'll travel to a community like Buffalo and end the lives of 10 good Buffalo audience.


DEAN: Now tomorrow, CNN will host its inaugural Juneteenth concert, and a slate of African-American artists and musicians will take the stage in Los Angeles to celebrate and highlight the ongoing fight for equality in the black community. And one of those artists includes the one and only.




DEAN: Ten-time Grammy winner, Chaka Khan, who will be performing live on CNN during Juneteenth tomorrow. And she joins us live right now for a preview of all of that. Chaka, thanks so much for being with us. We're delighted to have you on. I want to talk to you all about tomorrow celebration and performance. But first, I want to talk about what drew you into being a part of the celebration tomorrow and what Juneteenth means to you.

CHAKA KHAN, GRAMMY-WINNING SINGER AND SONGWRITER: Well, obviously, well, maybe not so obviously. But I was compelled to be a part of celebration of our emancipation. I think that something needs to be -- you need a day. I know, everybody needs a date to commemorate something special, you know, in this country. So now that we have a date, on June, the 19th, which was called Juneteenth for quite a while for the 19th that it came up. I just hope that this is a step in a more positive direction for all in this country.

DEAN: And we know you grew up in Chicago in the '50s and '60s, you've talked about the racism you face there when you were an up-and-coming artist. Now as you prepare to commemorate this new national holiday on national television as a star, I'm curious about what you've seen in your career. Have you seen progress? Have you not seen progress? What still needs to be done in your eyes


KHAN: So much needs to be done in my eyes, that I couldn't even get started. It would be just -- it would take too long. Up here, let's go with that. I have been -- I've been the object of, you know (INAUDIBLE) I do for a living is very racist like -- and then on top of the fact that as a woman, all women who share this, and we have a glass ceiling in this country, we don't get paid equal fee as men do.

The thing is, is that this business is a very (INAUDIBLE) music industry is very (INAUDIBLE). There is a box that most black artists, almost every black artists, I can't think of any aren't really. We are placed in a box that we are never able to play outside of. And it's very real. Look at it, it's very obvious. So, I've been victimized by racism in this.

And that's just been one of them. I know that there are a lot of blacks and whites, a great meeting (INAUDIBLE) artists and myself that isn't a competition that make a lot more money, play much better venues than I do. I could go on and on. I really focus on the fact that tomorrow is a celebration, hopefully, for younger people, little children, who will be able to grow up and put a date to their emancipation as we have been unable to do throughout my lifetime. And I must say I'm that skeptical.

DEAN: And so talk to me about that show tomorrow. What can we expect to see?

KHAN: A damn good show.

DEAN: It sounds like it. Sounds like it's going to be a good time and a good show. What are you looking forward to most?

KHAN: Well, working with my good friends, The Roots, who for me is like (INAUDIBLE). So socially plugged and get it. They get it socially. They get the whole social picture. They also get glued to the music industry. And then they know what are they address it in many ways that do. They are just in great positions on there (INAUDIBLE) for any reason.

DEAN: And how much have you been able to collaborate with everybody in putting this together?

KHAN: Well, I was pretty much asked at kind of the last minute to do this. I'm actually touring at the moment. I'm doing a world -- not a world tour but a United States tour. Let's keep it that. I'll be doing that up until November. We've already done a couple of months. I had a couple of weeks while we get half off. I got asked in that the first week, first few days, could I be a part of this celebration. And when I saw that The Roots were also a part of it, I couldn't say no, so.

DEAN: Yes. Well, we cannot wait to watch you tomorrow and all of your friends, The Roots, everybody take the stage. Chaka Khan, thank you so much and we will be watching tomorrow.

KHAN: Good. Have a good time. Enjoy yourself. I hope things get better for all.

DEAN: Indeed, indeed. Thank you so much for sharing with us. We appreciate it.

Juneteenth, a global celebration for freedom airs live tomorrow at 8:00 only on CNN.


And for the first time in more than 50 years, NASA is making plans to return to the moon. What you need to know about the mission, that's next.


DEAN: For the first time in half a century, NASA is hoping to return to the moon. This 21st century version of the Apollo mission is called the Artemis program. And this weekend, the rocket is undergoing some critical testing, CNN's Rachel Crane walks us through its mission to the moon and beyond.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: On July 20th, 1969, the culmination of nearly a year decade of work that would lead to a half century of technological innovations.


The Apollo program landed 12 men on the moon in a span of less than four years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boy, this is a neat way to travel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't it great?

CRANE: But humans haven't been back since 1972. Now NASA wants to change that with the Artemis missions. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo. In a nod to the female goddess, NASA plans to send the first woman as well as the first person of color to the lunar surface. The timeline has been a moving target, first planned for 2028, the bulls-eye is now 2025.

But the goal is bigger than a few boots on the ground. This time, NASA wants to establish a permanent base on the Moon by learning how to live and work there. The hope is that astronauts will eventually take that knowledge to the next frontier, Mars.

But for the next decade or so, the focus is on the moon. Here's how NASA would make it happen. Astronauts would travel to the moon on the Orion spacecraft, on top of the most powerful rocket NASA has ever built. Orion would then rendezvous with Gateway, a space station orbiting the moon. From there, astronauts would transfer to a reusable lunar lander built by a commercial partner like SpaceX. Unlike Apollo, the Gateway space station would allow access to more areas of the moon. It will also be the home of scientific experimentation. And NASA plans to continually send astronauts to the moon for years to come after the first phase of Artemis. But getting there won't be easy. It is rocket science after all.

BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: We will not fly astronauts until it's safe. And if that means there's a delay, then we will delay.

CRANE: Already, the Artemis program has suffered delays. Critical pre- launch tests have been hampered by issues with propellant loading and a malfunctioning helium check valve. The number one issue is safety, but all that testing and tinkering doesn't come cheap.

NELSON: I want to urge you as an appropriations committee, don't short sheet space technology. We need that extra oomph in our research and development.

CRANE: The Artemis program has a rare bipartisan support in Congress.

SEN. MIKE BRAUN (R-IN): You might be surprised, but I think we ought to be putting as many resources into it as we can.

SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-NH): This subcommittee wants the next pair of boots on the moon to be made in the USA.

SEN. JERRY MORAN (R-KS): And I'm pleased that this administration is continuing that goal.

CRANE: The Biden administration has proposed $7.5 billion for Artemis in fiscal 2023, but sustained funding isn't a guarantee.

REP. MATT CARTWRIGHT (D-PA): Unfortunately, across all major NASA programs, schedule slips and cost overruns, have increased for the sixth consecutive year with cumulative overruns for your measure project now exceeding $12.6 billion.

CRANE: In 2019, NASA estimated it would take 20 to $30 billion to get humans back to the moon. But NASA's inspector general says that won't even be close. It estimates the entire program will cost a whopping $93 billion by 2025. Whether it gets full funding or not, NASA stands firm that the lunar landing will happen.

NELSON: We're going back to the moon, but this time we're going back to learn, to stay, to develop new systems, new technologies, new techniques on how to live a long time in that hostile environment. Because when we go to Mars, we're going to have to learn that.

CRANE: In 1969, Apollo took humanity to new heights. By 2025, Artemis could prepare it for new worlds.


DEAN: And that was CNN space correspondent, Rachel Crane, reporting for us. We'll be right back.



DEAN: A frightening encounter for a family hiking on a popular trail in Canada. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's following you, babe. Hey, bear. Hey, bear. Hey.

(END VIDEO CLIP) DEAN: Yes, you're supposed to make a lot of noise, they're not surprised. The parents and their three young children from Utah were hiking in British Columbia when they spotted the black bear blocking the trail to the parking lot where their car was parked. So they just kept walking that bear following them for 20 minutes. The parents reminding their kids to not run, stay calm, which is good advice. Thankfully the bear never got aggressive and eventually lost interest about a half mile on and then trailed off. Glad everybody's Ok.

Great, Scott. You're going to wish you had a DeLorean to go back in time after hearing this. A sealed near mint condition, 1986 VHS tape of Back to the Future recently sold at auction for $75,000. Setting a new record for a videotape. The VHS copy was owned by actor Tom Wilson, who, yes, that's right. It's Biff Tannen from the classic '80s film, making the offer even more special. Wilson offer to write a note to accompany the tape. To note the tape $75,000.

Well, thank you so much for joining me on this Saturday evening. I'm Jessica Dean. Stay with us for "Dreamland: The burning of Black Wall Street," That's next.