It’s one small step back for mankind.
NASA announced on Tuesday that it is delaying its next manned moon landing by at least a year, citing 2025 as the earliest that astronauts will set foot on the lunar surface.
The announcement is the first major update on the program from President Biden’s administration, and the delay falls short of previous goals set by the Trump administration for a 2024 landing.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson blamed the delay on a lack of funding from Congress. He also pointed fingers at stalling legal challenges from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which has been competing with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for NASA’s multibillion-dollar lunar contract.
Early this November, the monthslong legal challenge from Blue Origin for a piece of the lunar contract was ruled in SpaceX’s favor. During the lawsuit, NASA was unable to move forward with planned work with SpaceX.
“We have already resumed conversations with SpaceX,” Nelson said in a statement. “It’s clear we’re both eager to get back to work together and establish a new timeline for our initial lunar demonstration missions.”
The mission would mark the first time humans set foot on the moon in just over half a century. NASA also hopes it will mark the beginning of a more inclusive space age.
“The human landing system is a crucial part of our work to get the first woman and the first person of color to the lunar surface, and we are getting geared up to go,” Nelson said in a statement to the press.
With Post wires