|Manu||Date: Tuesday, 17-November-2020, 11:48 AM | Message # 1|
|NASA 'unlikely' to achieve moon landing by 2024, says audit report|
Some of the space agency's closest analysts expect that president-elect Joe Biden's administration could push back the date.
NASA programme to land the first woman and the next man on the moon by 2024 is "unlikely" to be achieved, according to an audit report by the agency's office of inspector general.
The report warns the space agency "will be hard-pressed" in "achieving any date close to this ambitious goal", although it could potentially do so with "strong, consistent, sustained leadership from the president... as well as stable and timely funding".
NASA's Artemis programme, named after the mythological sister of Apollo, the first moon mission's namesake, aimed to take the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface by 2024 - although that date is now in question.
While president-elect Joe Biden has named the members of his NASA transition team, he hasn't yet set out his administration's priorities for the space agency or the Artemis programme.
Alongside the astronaut landings, NASA had intended to establish a "Lunar Gateway" outpost which will be orbiting the moon by the mid-2020s, and then lunar landers to deliver cargo to the surface by the late 2020s.
The OIG report stated that due to numerous challenges facing the Lunar Gateway mission, "we anticipate further schedule delays and cost increases, making the Gateway unlikely to be available for the planned 2024 lunar landing".
It is not clear whether these missions will continue at all or if they will postponed.
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