Artemis Moon mission delayed to 2025, NASA administrator says

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The Artemis Moon mission has been delayed to 2025, according to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

The mission is expected to return astronauts to the Moon for the first time in more than 50 years.

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Nelson said the program lost nearly seven months dealing with litigation. Blue Origin sued NASA afterit gave the full contract to build the human landing system to SpaceX instead of funding both companies.

“We’re pleased with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims’ thorough evaluation of NASA’s source selection process for the human landing system (HLS), and we have already resumed conversations with SpaceX. It’s clear we’re both eager to get back to work together and establish a new timeline for our initial lunar demonstration missions,” Nelson said. “Returning to the Moon as quickly and safely as possible is an agency priority. However, with the recent lawsuit and other factors, the first human landing under Artemis is likely no earlier than 2025.”

READ: Court ruling allows SpaceX to develop lunar lander for NASA

Nelson said the pandemic and lack of funding also added to the delay.

According to NASA, the Artemis II mission includes sending astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft farther into space than any humans have traveled before, roughly 40,000 miles past the Moon, before returning home.

“Going forward, NASA is planning for at least 10 Moon landings in the future, and the agency needs significant increases in funding for future lander competition, starting with the 2023 budget,” said Nelson.

READ: NASA, SpaceX prepare to launch Crew-3 mission from the Space Coast

NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy said, “What we’re doing is one of the great undertakings of humanity – the scope of it from SLS to Orion to Gateway, human landing systems, ground systems, communications, spacesuits and more – its staggering. First at the Moon, and then at Mars. But we’re NASA, and we’re rising to the challenge.”

READ: NASA makes final preparations for rocket heading around the moon in February

To learn more about the mission, click here.

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.