According to a new report, NASA is unlikely to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon before 2026.
why it matters: It suggests that NASA may not meet its newly updated 2025 deadline for the space agency’s flagship human spaceflight program, which is designed to bring astronauts back to the lunar surface.
- The Trump administration established the Artemis program, and the Biden administration has continued to make it a major part of NASA’s portfolio.
What are you saying: New one report good NASA’s Office of the Inspector General found that the Trump administration’s original deadline for landing on the Moon in 2024 is unlikely.
- Instead, the report states that the first manned Artemis landing will happen at the earliest in 2026, due to delayed technology development and budget constraints.
- Some of the main outstanding issues include developing a next generation spacesuit for use on the Moon and a privately built, man-rated lunar lander.
- “Currently NASA’s most ambitious and costly activity, the Artemis program faces schedule, procurement, technical and funding risks,” the report said.
description: The Artemis program relies on a number of technologies that have been difficult to develop or have been delayed in one way or another.
- The Space Launch System rocket – which was expected to make its first flight this year – won’t take off until next year at the earliest.
- SpaceX won a much-anticipated contract from NASA to build a manned lander for the space agency in April, but opposition from other bidders, such as Blue Origin, has delayed the company’s work on that crucial piece of technology.
- The program is also costly, with NASA “projected to spend $93 billion on the Artemis effort by fiscal year 2025,” according to the OIG report.