.’s first task NASA (US space agency) since 1972 to bring humans to the lunar surface has been postponed to 2025, one year after the previous prediction.
Few analysts believe that NASA can meet the 2024 deadline, given reduced funding and legal disputes surrounding the lander.
The postponement was confirmed to reporters by the head of the Space Agency, Bill Nelson, this morning, Wednesday (10/11).
It does not program Artemis, and NASA will send The first woman and thirteenth man on the moon.
The mission also involves a legal dispute between the two richest men in the world.
A US federal judge recently upheld NASA’s decision to award the contract to SpaceX, a Elon Musk, to build a lunar lander for the moon mission.
amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, appealed the decision, in part because he was arguing that the contract should have been awarded to more than one company involved in the bidding process. Bezos’s Blue Origin has partnered with three other airlines to compete for the prestigious landing contract.
NASA plans to start occupying the lunar surface – Photo: NASA
However, a cut in NASA funding by the US Congress made such participation impossible, according to a justification published by the space agency at the time of the contract announcement. NASA received only $850 million (4.6 billion R$) out of a $3.3 billion (18.1 billion R$) request from the US Congress to build a lunar landing pad.
Bezos has offered to finance $2 billion (more than R$10.3 billion) in NASA costs in return for participating in a contract to build a lunar lander.
The NASA chief attributed the delay in the landing mission in part to the judicial impasse.
“Returning to the Moon as quickly and safely as possible is a priority for the agency. However, with recent court proceedings and other factors, it is likely that the first human landing in the Artemis program will not take place until 2025,” he said.
But analysts have pointed out over the past year that it was the landing unit’s funding problem that made the mission’s previous 2024 projections unsustainable.
If other courts uphold last week’s ruling, a copy of the SpaceX spacecraft, currently being tested in Texas, will be the vehicle used to take the crew to the lunar surface in 2025.
The first mission of the Artemis program is scheduled for February 2022. NASA will launch the Orion spacecraft on a powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with no people on board.
During this mission, Orion will fly around the Moon on a three-week journey to test its systems.
Crew transported on a giant SLS rocket – Photo: NASA
The NASA chief said the first flight with astronauts, dubbed Artemis-2, would take place in 2024.
The next step, Artemis-3, will be the first mission to return to the lunar surface since Apollo 17 in 1972. It is expected to land at the moon’s south pole, which supposedly contains large reserves of icy water in craters that never receive sunlight.
In theory, the ice in these craters could be used to make rocket fuel, reducing the cost of lunar exploration.
The program will also see the first non-white person to land on the moon, although it is unclear if this will happen during Artemis-3 or on a later lunar mission.
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