A former NASA associate administrator for exploration argues that the lunar Gateway should be deferred if NASA is serious about achieving the White House goal of landing humans on the moon by 2024.
As Japan prepares to join NASA’s Artemis lunar program, the country’s largest rocket manufacturer says it could upgrade the H3 rocket debuting next year to deliver cargo to the moon as soon as 2025.
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Members of a NASA safety panel praised the agency for moving ahead quickly with aspects of its Artemis program to return humans to the moon, but warned about perceptions of a leadership vacuum for that effort.
NASA has quietly decided to give Northrop Grumman a contract to build a “minimal” habitation module for its lunar Gateway after concluding it was the only company that could meet NASA’s schedule.
An ability to get on contract quickly and a price far lower that other companies were key factors in NASA’s decision to award a contract to Maxar Technologies for the first element of the lunar Gateway, the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE).
The Canadian Space Agency — NASA’s first international partner to commit to the lunar Gateway — is considering a faster schedule for its contributions to keep pace with NASA’s accelerated plans.
As NASA develops its plans to accelerate a human return to the surface of the moon, international partners are left wondering what roles, if any, they will have in that effort.
Lockheed Martin says it has developed an approach to achieving the goal of landing humans on the south pole of the moon by 2024, but warns that construction of essential hardware would have to start soon to meet that deadline.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency’s approach to moving up a human lunar landing from 2028 to 2024 will focus first on speed and then on sustainability.
The Canadian government will also try to cut the regulatory red tape the space industry has complained has hindered projects from moving forward.