NASA manager casts doubt on 2024 moon landing by astronauts

Rodiano Bonacci
Settembre 21, 2019

Funding is at the heart of the delay.

For those that don't know, the Trump administration urged NASA back in March to speed up its Moon-landing plans by four years, solidifying the now 2024 landing date.

"NASA has achieved a historic first milestone by completing the final join of the core stage structure for NASA's Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket", said Julie Bassler, the NASA SLS stages manager. Contractors involved in the project - primarily Boeing - have seriously dropped the ball, leading to long delays and massive cost overruns.

Speaking at a House Space, Science and Technology Committee meeting Wednesday, Kenneth Bowersox, NASA's acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said the agency could miss the expedited deadline. Here is what he had to say "What's important is that we launch when we're ready, that we have a successful mission when it launches, and I'm not going to sit here and tell you that just arbitrarily we're going to make it". We have to get our funding, we have to balance our resources with out requirements and then we've got to execute it really well. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine - who's pushing Artemis every chance he gets - stresses the goal is sustainability this time around, with the moon serving as a critical training ground for Mars expeditions, perhaps in the 2030s.

The space agency still needs to come up with new lunar landers, rovers and spacesuits. NASA's proposed mini outpost around the moon known as Gateway, from which astronauts would descend to the lunar surface, should be delayed until later missions, according to Cooke. For almost 20 years, astronauts have continuously lived and work on the International Space Station, testing technologies, performing science and developing the skills needed to explore farther from Earth.

After it launches the SLS, NASA is looking to send the first woman and the next man to the lunar South Pole by 2024.

Artemis-2, a crewed mission around the moon, will follow. The first lunar touchdown since Apollo 17 in 1972 will happen on Artemis three.

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