NASA leadership will hold a media teleconference today to offer an update to their moon exploration plans under the Artemis program.
At 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT) on Tuesday (Jan. 9), NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will be joined by the agency's associate administrator Jim Free, Catherine Koerner, associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate and Amit Kshatriya, deputy associate administrator for the Moon to Mars program. The agency's officials will be joined by representatives from NASA's industry partners involved with the Artemis program.
While the agency hasn't stated what the briefing will entail, there are unconfirmed reports that NASA leaders will announce a substantial delay for the upcoming Artemis 2 mission, which will send a crew of four around the moon in the Orion spacecraft. The mission was originally slated for a November 2024 launch, but CNN reports that "one current and one former NASA employee" told the outlet that NASA leadership will announce a "months-long delay" during today's briefing.
As recent events have shown, getting to the moon isn't easy, and the Artemis Program has already seen its share of delays.
The first flight of the program's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket came years after its initial planned launch date, and at a much higher cost. Agency leadership and U.S. governmental organizations have already indicated that Artemis 3 will likely be delayed by years due to the developmental timelines of the Human Landing System (HLS) that will take astronauts down to the lunar surface and back.
NASA's Artemis program kicked off in November 2022 when the agency launched its massive SLS rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft. Orion flew on a 25-day uncrewed mission around the moon, beaming back some incredible lunar imagery and generating loads of useful data about the spacecraft's performance in the process.
When it launches, Artemis 2 will send a crew of four — pilot Victor Glover (the first person of color to leave low Earth orbit), NASA mission specialist Christina Koch (the first woman) and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen (the first non-American) — on a similar journey to the moon and back to lay the groundwork for Artemis 3.
When it launches, Artemis 3 will put human feet back on the moon for the first time in over 50 years.
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Brett is curious about emerging aerospace technologies, alternative launch concepts, military space developments and uncrewed aircraft systems. Brett's work has appeared on Scientific American, The War Zone, Popular Science, the History Channel, Science Discovery and more. Brett has English degrees from Clemson University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In his free time, Brett enjoys skywatching throughout the dark skies of the Appalachian mountains.