Blue Origin’s failed lawsuit against NASA over the Human Landing System (HLS) contract, which was thrown out by a judge last week and the growing progress of the Chinese space program were top of mind for NASA officials during a Tuesday briefing updating the public on the agency’s Artemis program.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson had strong words on the lawsuit, saying that the agency lost “nearly seven months in litigation” over HLS, leading to two of the forthcoming missions being pushed back by a year or more. Now, Artemis-2 will take place in May 2024, while Artemis-3 — which aims to put the first woman and the first person of color on the moon — will take place no earlier than 2025. (Artemis-1, an uncrewed mission and the first to use NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion capsule, is on track for early 2022.)
The Artemis program is an ambitious series of planned launches by NASA to return humans to the moon since the days of the Apollo program. The HLS will be the final capsule that will transport astronauts to the lunar surface.
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