HOUSTON, Texas — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is pushing ahead with its renewed focus on exploring the Earth’s moon despite what appears to be a failed moon landing mission by a private company.
On Tuesday, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is scheduled to hold a media teleconference to discuss the agency’s Artemis program and its upcoming milestones.
Nexstar Media plans to livestream the event within this story beginning at approximately 1:30 p.m. ET.
You may recall the first Artemis mission sent NASA’s most powerful rocket into a slingshot maneuver around the moon in late 2022.
The four astronauts assigned to fly around the moon for the first time in 50 years will also be the first to fly NASA’s Orion capsule, launching atop a Space Launch System rocket from Kennedy Space Center no earlier than late 2024. They will not land or even go into lunar orbit, but rather fly around the moon and head straight back to Earth, a prelude to a lunar landing by two others planned for a year later.
In the meantime, the crew is preparing. They use simulators and work with Mission Control on how to get up and back safely, including how to get out when they return to Earth. They have a dress rehearsal in February where they’ll practice “bobbing around” in a capsule in the Pacific Ocean.
Separately, the first U.S. moon landing attempt in more than 50 years appeared to be doomed after a private company’s spacecraft developed a “critical” fuel leak just hours after Monday’s launch.
Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology managed to orient its lander toward the sun so the solar panel could collect sunlight and charge its battery, as a special team assessed the status of what was termed “a failure in the propulsion system.”
It soon became apparent, however, that there was “a critical loss of fuel,” further dimming hope for what had been a planned moon landing on Feb. 23.
Source: Fox 8 News Channel