AFP, Released Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at 07:24 AM.
The return of humans to the moon, which was postponed by NASA from 2024 to 2025 last week, actually ruled out a “maximum” in 2026, a public audit ruled on Monday.
The report by the Inspector General’s Office explained that the US Artemis plan to return to the moon “increased technical problems and delays caused by the Kovit-19 epidemic and meteorological events”, which is independent.
In particular: the development time required to complete the two essential components of this historical work.
First, the new space suit will not be ready “soon before May 2025”, especially due to “technical challenges and lack of funding” the report estimated.
Later, the development of the manned landing system (HLS) entrusted to SpaceX will also be “probably” delayed. Named the Starship, the lander was to be placed in orbit around the moon, and the NASA-launched capsule with the astronauts would board there and bring them to the lunar surface.
In its statement, the Inspector General’s Office praised the “rapid speed” of the SpaceX product, which is largely administered “in-house”. When he visited headquarters in California and factories in Texas in August, he noted that 20 starship prototypes and 100 Raptor engines had already been built.
But for the past fifteen years, when the time between the contract and the first flight was eight and a half years, the audit indicates that SpaceX should reach this record in half the time.
Based on these factors, the report writes, “We estimate that NASA will exceed its current schedule of landing humans on the moon by 2024 for several years,” not taking into account the agency’s latest announcement.
The latter, he says, “will probably slide into 2026 soon.”
This work parallel to Apollo 11 is called Artemis 3. Prior to this, Artemis 2 will take astronauts to the moon, but will not land. It is scheduled for 2024, the report concludes.
Prior to this, Artemis 1 would go to the moon, but without the astronaut. The work is usually scheduled for February 2022, but audits estimate that it will actually take place “in the summer of 2022”.
The Office of the Inspector General criticized the cost of the lunar project. The report estimates that it will cost $ 93 billion by fiscal 2025, and a launch cost of $ 4.1 billion for the first four trips.
The space agency, which is funded by U.S. taxpayers, “needs to identify ways to cut costs,” he insists.