back to article NASA auditor's reality check says '2026 at the earliest' for Artemis Moon landing

NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) has administered a kicking to the US space agency over its handling of the Artemis project, making grim reading for anyone hopeful of even a 2025 crewed lunar landing. While the 2024 landing deadline imposed by the Trump administration is now history, even 2025 is looking shaky as the …

  1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

    Oh well, we missed the deadline. Let's quit and just throw all this space stuff into the sea.

    At least we can focus more on killing each other. I know! Let's build a giant metal cylinder that we can throw at the enemy!

    All quite likely possibilities aside, I'm all for continuing to build things for as long as it takes to get it right.

    Also, it'd be hilarious if NASA asked the military for a loan around congress... We suddenly have the money to land on the moon next week! Naahhh, never mind where the money came from, anybody going to the moon, pack your bags!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      The Moon? I'm starting to wonder of His Muskiness will be on Mars before NASA gets to the Moon again.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        The new Space Race: NASA vs SpaceX

        I'd seriously not be surprised if SpaceX lands on the Moon first.

        1. Spherical Cow

          Re: The new Space Race: NASA vs SpaceX

          At some point he'll have the hardware and he'll just go ahead and do it. I would!

        2. Binraider Silver badge

          Re: The new Space Race: NASA vs SpaceX

          Given the Artemis programme I believe includes an unmanned landing as one of its tests that’s pretty much a given. Apart from from crew launch’ easily handled by a dragon; a starship with a refuel support can more or less handle the entire show.

          SLS is at this stage just a way to print money and potentially win votes. I’m not so sure it’s that valuable to a Democrat administration given the states involved.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: The new Space Race: NASA vs SpaceX

            When you say more or less - you mean entirely and without issue.

            1. Binraider Silver badge

              Re: The new Space Race: NASA vs SpaceX

              Crew launch abort capability is missing from starship. So, I can see more realistically you’d do starship and it’s refuellers unmanned; sending up the crew on a dragon afterwards.

              Kerbal risk assessment isn’t in the NASA playbook just yet!

  2. ScottK


    "In conclusion, 2026 is now likely to be the earliest year boots will once again stomp on the regolith"

    ...unless the Chinese get there first (or Elon Musk gets fed up of waiting for NASA).

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    Aerospce Scheduling Strikes Again

    This kind of 'please the chain of command' scheduling never works -- you set a date, make flowery speeches about it (or issue glowing press releases, same difference) but the actual legwork of doing the development is.....where?

    Let's assume that Artemis is an airliner for the sake of argument. If we task Boeing or similar to develop this plane then would we expect it to be ready in 'a couple of years'? Maybe, if its a lash up of existing parts. But if its a completely new system then its going to take a bit longer -- new fuselage, engines, avionics and so on. (i'm guessing that wings are an optional extra for a Moon lander.) The process requires an ongoing commitment, a series of steps, a lot of testing and one or two (spectacular) failures. This is what happened with the Apollo program and is what SpaceX has been doing. I figure that if we asked SpaceX to go to the Moon they'd probably be able to achieve it by the end of the decade (but being a company that seems to know which way up I'd expect any request to be met with the question "Why?" -- why send people when machines do the job a whole lot better?). The rest is just smoke.

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Aerospce Scheduling Strikes Again

      Aerospce Scheduling Strikes Again

      Does any major project follow the schedule, whatever the domain? In IT we are used to this, aren't we?

  4. ravenviz Silver badge

    Seems to me we should establish a reason to go to the moon first. The moon is mineral rich but knowing what and where is not well known. A programme of strategic robotic sample return missions would seem to make more sense while at the same time the human presence is perfected. We don't need people to being rocks back, but we may well need people to manage a industrial mining operation.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like