- NASA and SpaceX’s plan to land people on the moon will face a “several-year” delay, the Inspector General said.
- SpaceX’s Starship and NASA space suits have yet to be developed and tested, according to an OIG report.
- NASA has already postponed the landing on the moon from 2024 to 2025.
NASA and SpaceX’s landing on the moon is likely to be delayed “several years” after 2024, according to a space agency watchdog report.
Earlier this month, NASA postponed the date the humans landed on the Moon on SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft from 2024 to 2025. A report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which reviews NASA’s programs, said the launch could be further delayed. .
“Because of the time it takes to develop and fully test it [landing system] and new space suits, we predict NASA will exceed its current schedule for humans to land on the Moon in late 2024 by several years, “the report says.
The OIG report said SpaceX still had to test its Starship orbit, practice refueling in orbit to reach the moon, and complete an unmanned mission.
In addition, the delivery of astronauts’ space suits had been delayed, in part due to a lack of funding, the OIG report said.
According to an OIG report, NASA’s Artemis I and Artemis II missions to help prepare for the final moon, Artemis III, may also be delayed due to the agency’s own Space Launch System rocket and the “technical challenges” of the Orion spacecraft.
NASA is expected to spend a total of $ 93 billion on the Artemis program in 2012-2025, the OIG report states.
NASA did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
In April, NASA awarded SpaceX an exclusive $ 2.9 billion contract to land the first humans on the Moon since 1972.
NASA selected only one company for the contract, while it was expected to select two. One of its other rivals, Jeff Bezosin Blue Origin, later filed a lawsuit against NASA alleging that the space agency’s decision to award SpaceX a $ 2.9 billion contract was “unfair.”
According to an OIG report, Blue Origin’s protests had caused delays in the agency’s schedule.
When NASA announced in early November that it had shifted its timeline to the moon until 2025, agency administrator Bill Nelson blamed Blue Origin in part for the delay.