More signs are arising that NASA’s Artemis program probably won’t welcome individuals to the Moon on time. The Verge has discovered that NASA discreetly pushed back the award time period for two lunar lander contracts from late February to April 30th, including the lunar landing system contract including Blue Origin, SpaceX and Dynetics. The space agency said it required more opportunity to assess recommendations and keep a “seamless transition” from the improvement phase, in spite of the fact that it said there was an opportunity it would grant award sooner than late April.
Blue Origin is dealing with its Blue Moon lander, while SpaceX is building up its Starship rocket. Dynetics is developing a lander in a team-up with Sierra Nevada.
The setback doesn’t come as a shock. Congress just gave NASA’s Human Landing System project $850 million in its most recent spending bill versus the $3.2 billion it said was vital for the planned 2024 Moon touchdown. it doesn’t help that NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine left as President Biden got to work, leaving his delegate Steve Jurczyk in his place. The association simply doesn’t have the resources or direction it was anticipating.
Thusly, the chances of NASA making its 2024 Artemis goal are that a lot slimmer. That is likewise limiting any potential changes in needs at NASA under the Biden administration. The new White House has focused a lot of its energy on managing on prompt emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn. It could be hesitant to dedicate a lot (if any) regard for a Moon landing until the nation is in better shape.