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NASA Moves Artemis Moon Landing Goal From 2024 to 2025 Earliest

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has decided to move the target year of its Artemis program from 2024 to 2025 at the earliest. 

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has said that targeting 2024 to bring astronauts back to the moon is not really feasible. 

The delays brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the lawsuit filed by Blue Origin against NASA have contributed to the change in the moon landing goal. 

The Artemis program’s first test flight, Artemis 1, is still scheduled to launch next February. However, the launch of the second test flight, Artemis 2, has been delayed from 2023 to 2024. 

NASA Moves Artemis Moon Landing Goal

NASA has decided to move the moon landing goal of the Artemis program from 2024 to 2025 at the earliest. 

According to an article by Space, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has said that the “2024 was not a goal that was really technically feasible.”

One of the goal of NASA’s Artemis program is to get astronauts back to the moon and “create a sustained human presence on and around the lunar surface that will start with landing the first woman and the first person of color on the moon this decade,” per the Space report. 

There are some factors that have affected the change in deadline. One of which are the delays caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Another factor that affected the change is Blue Origin’s lawsuit against NASA. 

Blue Origin’s Lawsuit 

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin filed a lawsuit against NASA over the latter’s decision to award its Human Landing System (HLS) contract only to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. 

The awarding of the contract means that it is SpaceX who gets to build the moon lander that will be used for the Artemis program. NASA was previously expected to pick two out of the three companies that were vying for the contract. 

Blue Origin, however, lost the lawsuit on November 4. Bill Nelson has shared that he has since spoken to SpaceX’s CEO, Gwynne Shotwell, about building the moon lander. 

Related Article: NASA Told to Pick Second Company to Build Moon Lander

Artemis 1 and Artemis 2 Test Flights

Despite the change in the goal for the moon landing project, NASA does have a timeframe for Artemis 1, the Artemis program’s first test flight that will launch an uncrewed mission around the moon. 

According to the report by Space, NASA is targeting February 2022 for the Artemis 1 test flight. The test flight will involve NASA’s Orion spacecraft as well as the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. 

The Artemis program’s second test flight, Artemis 2, has been moved from September 2023 to May 2024. This test flight is a crewed mission that will send astronauts around the moon and back. 

The actual mission that will involve astronauts actually landing on the moon is Artemis 3. 

Read Also: Wonder How the Artemis Program Will Bring NASA From Moon to Mars?

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Isabella James

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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