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Business News/ Science / News/  No astronauts on moon until 2026 after NASA delays its Artemis mission. Know why
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No astronauts on moon until 2026 after NASA delays its Artemis mission. Know why

NASA has delayed its Artemis III mission to the moon, which will land four astronauts near the lunar south pole, until September 2026 due to technical glitches with spacecraft.

NASA has postponed its moon missions deadline to 2026Premium
NASA has postponed its moon missions deadline to 2026

NASA has delayed its ambitious mission to the moon for the next two years after various spacecraft needed for the mission continued to show technical glitches

NASA's Artemis III mission to the moon, which is set to land four astronauts near the lunar south pole will be postponed a year until September 2026. Whereas, its test mission, Artemis II will be delayed to September 2025. The mission was planned to test life support systems by sending a space crew around the moon for a 10-day expedition.

Also Read: Peregrine Mission One faces ‘technical issue’, NASA vows to learn from moon mission

Artemis is NASA's multi-billion dollar space program intended to send astronauts to the moon since the last Apollo mission in 1972. 

What causes NASA to delay its moon missions?

NASA's second Artemis mission, has been pushed back a year after the American space agency faced issues with Lockheed Martin-built Orion crew capsule's batteries during vibration tests, reported Reuters citing sources familiar with the matter. The batteries in Lockheed Martin's crew capsule will be replaced. 

Also Read: This NASA moon mission failure reminds of Chandrayaan 3's exemplary moon landing by ISRO

Artemis 3 mission to the moon will use the Starship landing system from NASA contractor SpaceX. However, billionaire Elon Musk's space firm is unexpectedly taking longer than expected time to meet the previous timeline, reported the news agency citing sources.

While announcing the fresh timeline for its mission, NASA said that the delays would let the teams work through development challenges linked with the program.

Also Read: Will 2007 FT3, a ‘lost asteroid’, hit Earth in October 2024? NASA says…

“We are returning to the moon in a way we never have before, and the safety of our astronauts is Nasa’s top priority as we prepare for future Artemis missions," said the Nasa administrator Bill Nelson in a press briefing held on Tuesday

"So, what I want to tell you is, we are adjusting our schedule to target Artemis 2 for September of 2025 and September of 2026 for Artemis 3, which will send humans for the first time to the lunar south pole," he added.

Also Read: ‘Scientifically important…,’ What NASA scientist said on ISRO's Aditya-L1 entering Halo orbit

Private companies involved in NASA's Artemis program

Several private companies are involved in NASA's ambitious space program to the moon. Artemis program will use the Boeing and Northrop Grumman-led Space Launch System to loft humans off Earth, Lockheed's Orion capsule to propel them toward the moon, and SpaceX's Starship to take them on and off the lunar surface.

Not only this, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is building an astronaut lander for later missions. Elon Musk's SpaceX is also preparing to attain the milestone of completing the refueling of Starship at an orbital propellant depot before the ship can take humans to the lunar surface and launch them back with enough fuel.

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Published: 12 Jan 2024, 02:53 PM IST
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