Unfortunately, NASA has stated that the space agency will not be able to land humans on the moon by 2024 due to delays. The news comes from an audit conducted by NASA’s Inspector General, who stated that the launch will now be delayed due to delays caused by the dispute over the lunar lander between Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, as well as space suit development.
According to the audit, “These delays, caused by funding shortfalls, COVID-19 impacts, and technical hurdles, have left no room in the schedule for the delivery of the two flight-ready xEMUs. Because of the union requirements, the suits would not be ready for flight until at least April 2025 “.
In response to the news, which was posted on CNBC’s Space Reporter Michael Sheetz’s Twitter account, Elon Musk stated that he has a fix, stating that “SpaceX could do it if need be,” referring to the spacesuit development. When questioned if SpaceX’s Starship would be ready to land humans on the moon by 2024 (despite other delays), Musk responded, “Probably sooner.”
Musk’s company is getting closer to beginning suborbital testing of Starship, a spacecraft that aims to transport objects and people to the Moon and Mars. According to the billionaire, Starship’s first orbital stack should be ready to fly “in a few weeks,” pending regulatory approval.
When fitted with a super heavy first-stage thruster, the entire spacecraft stands 120 metres tall. SpaceX intends to conduct a suborbital test in which one of its prototypes will leave the atmosphere and re-enter with a soft landing.