Saturday, July 20, 2024

Further delay possible for lunar lander

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the NASA The ambitious Artemis III mission, scheduled to take place September 2026But recent internal analysis highlights a significant risk of delay. According to a report from Government Accountability Office (GAO), the lunar lander developed by SpaceX It may not be ready until February 2028.

This assessment arose from a confirmatory review of the Human Landing System (HLS) design, known as the Key Decision Point (KDP) C, which determines 70% The Starship lander is likely ready for final repair. February 2028This means there is a risk. 30% The project is suffering further delays.

The GAO report, released June 20, notes that the estimate is based on a comprehensive analysis of project costs, schedule, risks, and uncertainties. NASA has said that the GAO’s data is accurate and represents a conservative assessment of the risks. However, The agency continues to state that Artemis III remains on schedule for September 2026..

KDP-C also set a cost of $4.9 billion for HLS, including a $2.9 billion contract with SpaceX and other expenses. Kathy Koerner, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration systems development, reaffirmed the 2026 date during a June 7 meeting, but acknowledged Challenges Technologies The project faces challenges, including a cryogenic propellant transfer test scheduled for early 2025.

While NASA remains confident in its partnership with SpaceX, it is also preparing contingency plans, analyzing alternative scenarios in the event that one element of the mission is unavailable.

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