Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

NASA Manned Lunar Missions Pushed Back to 2026

Wed 10 Jan 2024 | 02:48 PM
NASA Artemis I Launching
NASA Artemis I Launching
Rana Atef

NASA's moon landing mission, Artemis II, planned for 2025 is delayed to 2026. It was supposed to be the first manned mission to the Moon since the 1970s.

However, the plan of the program remains on track for 2028, NASA said.

The Artemis program includes various partnerships and collaborative work with various partners like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.

NASA expressed that Artemis II will “test Nasa’s foundational human deep space exploration capabilities, the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, for the first time with astronauts and will pave the way for lunar surface missions, including landing the first woman and first person of color on the moon."

It will be followed by another mission, Artemis III, and it is expected that it could be more complex.

SpaceX will need to develop spacecraft with various capabilities for in-orbit refueling capabilities because the ship rocket must refuel in space before carrying the crew.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson said: “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."

The missions need strict environmental control and life support systems for the astronauts. Therefore, NASA said that it is testing various features to keep the crew safe and allow them to conduct their mission tests. 

The agency added: “Teams are troubleshooting a battery issue and addressing challenges with a circuitry component responsible for air ventilation and temperature control."

“As each crewed Artemis mission increases complexity and adds flight tests for new systems, the adjusted schedule will give the providers developing new capabilities – SpaceX for the human landing system and Axiom Space for the next-generation spacesuits – additional time for testing and any refinements ahead of the mission,” it continued.