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NASA Delays Moon Landing Until 2025

NASA Delays Moon Landing Until 2025

NASA has announced that no astronauts will be traveling to the Moon in 2024 as originally planned. The agency now aims to send a crew, including a woman and a person of color, in 2025, according to Gizmodo.

NASA blames both Congress and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for the delay, and says its timeline depends on whether Congress increases the agency’s budget in 2023.

“We are facing a very aggressive and good Chinese space program,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said. “[NASA is] going to be as aggressive as we can be—in a safe and technically feasible way—to beat our competitors with boots on the Moon.”

Nelson also cited the seven-month lawsuit with Bezos’s Blue Origin, which forced the agency to halt progress on the Starship-based lunar landing system that will transport astronauts to the Moon in 2025, according to CNBC. Blue Origin sued NASA over its $2.9 billion contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for development of the lander, insisting that it did not receive the opportunity to update its own bid for the project. A federal court ruled in favor of NASA just last week.

The agency has also pushed back its uncrewed Artemis I flight test date to February 2022. As part of that mission, NASA will launch the Orion spacecraft on the Space Launch System rocket to fly around the Moon for three weeks in order to test its equipment.

Artemis III will be the first mission to return astronauts to the lunar surface since Apollo 17 landed there in 1972.

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