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Spacesuits not ready for NASA astronauts' return to the Moon: NPR

Spacesuits not ready for NASA astronauts’ return to the Moon: NPR

NASA’s two model spacesuits, one to explore the moon’s south pole surface (left) and one to launch and re-enter the agency’s Orion spacecraft, will not become a reality in time for a planned mission in 2024.

Kevin Wolf / AFP

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Kevin Wolf / AFP

NASA’s two model spacesuits, one to explore the moon’s south pole surface (left) and one to launch and re-enter the agency’s Orion spacecraft, will not become a reality in time for a planned mission in 2024.

Kevin Wolf / AFP

NASA will not be ready to send astronauts to the moon by 2024 Predictably because, among other reasons, the agency’s internal watchdog found that their spacesuits would not be ready.

NASA had officially planned to send astronauts to the moon by 2024, but independent experts so is Acting Administrator He had already doubted that the program was realistic.

in a UN report This month, NASA’s inspector general found that due to delays in spacesuit development, “a lunar landing in late 2024, as currently planned by NASA, is not possible.” The report blames a lack of funds, the COVID-19 pandemic and “technical challenges” for the delay. The inspector general estimated that the closest spacesuits would be ready in April 2025.

The last time humans landed on the moon was in 1972. The spacesuits still used by NASA astronauts still rely on technology from the same era.

It was NASA Developing new spacesuits Over the past 14 years, it has cost $420 million to date. The agency is expected to spend an additional $625 million before the two flyable suits are ready in fiscal year 2025.

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Space suits aren’t the only reason NASA won’t reach the moon by 2024. The inspector general noted that delays include new space launch system missileThe Orion capsule and lunar lander prevent her from reaching the moon in time.

in April, NASA chose SpaceX To build a lunar probe worth $2.9 billion. But a rival company, Blue Origin, has repeatedly objected, which the inspector general noted has caused delays.