Moon, NASA postpones Artemis mission

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Project Artemis also represents a test bed for the technologies developed within it public-private partnership. NASA collaborated with Terran Orbital and Rocket Lab throw the Capstone spacecraftwhich is currently exploring the future Gateway orbit. Maxar Technologies will instead provide power and propulsion to the station while Northrop Grumman working on Halo module, where the first Gateway astronauts will reside and conduct their research. And finally, SpaceX will be tasked with launching the modules with a Falcon Heavy rocket at the end of 2024.

NASA’s Space Launch System

Joel Kowsky/NASA

The programs will also be promotional opportunities global diplomacy and relationships with space agencies around the world. NASA works with many international partners at Artemis: L’European Space Agency (ESA) with the Orion Service Module on Artemis 1 and the Gateway I-Hab (where the astronauts will be based), Japan Space Agencywhich develops the spacecraft delivery of goods for Gateway and plans a pressurized lunar rover AND Canadian Space Agency who builds a robotic arm for the station. A total of twenty one countries have signed it Artemis chordsthe US government’s attempt to establish cooperation for future international exploration of the Moon.

However, a project as ambitious as returning to the moon also has to be dealt with political and economic challenges. First, exorbitant costs. Some critics, like former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, point tohigh cost of the space launch system agency compared to the cheaper Super Heavy Missile and SpaceX starship. Furthermore, i long-term space programs, that pass through US governments with different priorities may prove vulnerable political changes. It happens that the program will not survive the transition to the White House. For example, if former US presidents such as George W. Bush and Donald Trump favored lunar missions, Barack Obama focused more on projects related to Mars. However, it should be taken into account that “Artemis has survived several presidential administrations unscathedwhich is promising. However, there are still uncertainties that huge investment” notes Teasel Muir-Harmony, a space historian and curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

This article previously appeared in Wired en español

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