NASA has had to cancel its Artemis I Moon rocket mission for the third time, and its multi-billion dollar rocket is now off the launch pad and back in.
As the world looks to the US space agency and the mission that should take us back to the moon, some experts worry that NASA will be outdone by the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
Space industry observer Richard Speed has tracked space launches throughout his career.
He told The US Sun: “To make matters worse, commercial companies, such as SpaceX, have continued to launch, often in view of the affected SLS, demonstrating reusability.
“Nasa, on the other hand, has spent billions turning reusable Space Shuttle components into replaceable hardware that is firmly stuck on the launch pad.
“There is a very real risk that NASA will be ordered to step out of space launch activities and focus on spacecraft.
“Ultimately, there is a stark reminder of a willingness to leave hardware from the SLS launch pad in the form of a Saturn V ready for viewing.
“The Space Launch System may suffer the same fate if the flow of funds is diverted elsewhere.”
NASA has not confirmed a new date for Artemis I’s next launch attempt.
The US space agency is thought to try again later this year.
Wat is Artemis I?
The first part of the mission to put humans back on the moon is called Artemis I and was due to launch on Monday, August 29 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Flordia.
However, the first launch date had to be postponed due to a tank error.
The second attempt to launch encountered a similar problem and the third was scrapped before it could start due to Storm Ian.
When it launches, the mission will include an up to 42-day tour around the moon and back.
However, NASA can abort the mission if something goes wrong.
The flight will test hardware so that NASA can land the first woman and first person of color on the moon by 2025.
That manned mission is called Artemis III, and a lot needs to happen before it can take place.
Artemis I is not a manned mission, but he must circumnavigate the moon to test three key components.
These are NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion spacecraft, and the European Service Module (ESM).
The Orion spacecraft and the ESM should come within 62 miles of the lunar surface and then travel 40,000 miles further.
Once around the dark side of the moon, the rocket should land in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego.
NASA completed a “wet-dress rehearsal” of the SLS in March and has changed its proposed launch date several times since.