Of NASA’s plans for the near future, arguably the most exciting island humans on Mars sometime in the next decade.
However, this objective depends on many previous steps and, if we think about it carefully, we will see that the arrival of man on the red planet may be delayed to the next decade or even if there is a loss of interest and therefore of investment, which can be postponed indefinitely. Of course, I hope that it does not happen, but it is a possibility that we must consider.
However, one of the steps in NASA’s project to take humans to Mars is to return to the Moon, our natural satellite, a milestone first reached in 1969 with the Apollo XI mission.
Plans at the time pointed to a future where our presence there would intensify over time. However, after several more tasks within the same program, it was canceled, and, contrary to initial expectations, that moment marked the end of man’s presence on the satellite.
For this reason, when NASA announced the return of man to the Moon, within the Artemis project, for the year 2024, the illusions of many people, who consider that space exploration plays a vital role in the present and future of humanity, lavishly celebrated these new plans, but took them with a grain of salt, while assuming that delays were a reasonably likely possibility.
And this is what the US space agency has confirmed. After a few months of doubts about it, motivated by budgetary problems and by Blue Origin’s reaction after losing the NASA competition to build the ship that will take us to the Moon, which forced preparations to be delayed for several months, today we can read on SlashGear that the first human-crewed Artemis mission to the Moon will most likely not occur until 2025 at the earliest.
Let us remember that before the human-crewed mission to the Moon, now scheduled for 2025, NASA has planned two significant steps. The first is the Artemis I mission.
It will consist of the launch of the vehicle built for the mission, but without a crew, and it will go into orbit around the Moon for six days before returning to Earth. The Artemis II mission will repeat the same steps, but this time with a crew.
Only when both missions have been completed will Artemis III take place, which is the mission that will mark the return of the human being to the Moon. Thus, any delay in the previous two tasks can further delay this mission. However, what NASA is making clear is that Artemis is a priority, and consequently, it will continue to press for the necessary funding. Let’s hope this happens sooner rather than later.