Artemis II: NASA report expresses concerns for mission safety

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — New concerns were raised about the safety of the Artemis II mission and NASA’s plans to take astronauts around the moon.


The mission, targeted for next year, will launch four astronauts on a mission around the moon.

That will not happen until some risks to crew safety are resolved.

The Artemis II mission will take NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, Christina Hammock Koch and Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen on a trip around the moon in the Orion spacecraft.

This is in preparation for the agency’s first moon landing since the end of the Apollo program.

Read: Starliner crew ready for launch

A newly released report on NASA’s readiness to launch Artemis 2 comes from the agency’s Office of Inspector General, who said some safety concerns must be resolved first.

“The heat shield is really critical,” said Dr. Ken Kremer with Space Up Close. “It’s been an issue a known issue ever since the Artemis I mission concluded; what happened is that there was some excessive charring on the heat shield, not a lot, but more than was expected.”

That OIG report says NASA’s uncrewed Artemis I mission did reveal anomalies with the Orion heat shield, separation bolts, and power distribution that pose significant risks to the crew’s safety.

Read: Boeing’s Starliner flight test: Meet the astronauts

However, the agency is taking action to address these issues.

This week, during a U.S. House committee hearing, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson discussed the decision earlier this year to delay Artemis II until September 2025.

“We’re sending a whole new spacecraft and a whole new rocket to the moon,” he said. “We’re going to make sure that heat shield is functioning as it should be because they are coming in hot and fast.

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the report recommendations include ensuring the root cause of Orion heat shield issues are well understood before launching the Artemis II mission

“There are still external reviews going on. right now,” Kremer. “Another one’s going to be concluded about a month from now. Then, NASA will assess that report and decide what actions to take.”

Artemis II astronaut Victor Glover will be on the space coast this weekend, ahead of the first-ever crewed flight of the Boeing Starliner to the International Space Station.

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