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Artemis I Launch Delayed to Mid- to Late 2021

3 Mar 2020, 16:11 UTC
Artemis I Launch Delayed to Mid- to Late 2021
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SLS core stage installation (Credits: NASA/SSC)

by Douglas MessierManaging Editor

NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurcyk said on Friday that the first Artemis mission to the moon will not launch later this year but will hopefully fly in the mid- to late 2021 time frame.

It marks yet another delay in a program that is already running years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. The slip potentially makes the Trump Administration’s goal of landing astronauts at the south pole of the moon in 2024 more difficult to achieve.

The Artemis I mission will send an automated Orion spacecraft around the moon. The second flight will launch a four-member crew around the moon, with a landing by two astronauts planned for 2024.

Jurcyk revealed the delay in remarks made during the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium (LSIC) meeting at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

Artemis’ pacing item is the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage, which is now at the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi being prepared for a full static fire test known as the green run.

Jurcyk said he expected the core stage to be shipped from Stennis to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center ...

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