NASA Delays Artemis Crewed Moon Missions Again

    NASA Delays Artemis Crewed Moon Missions Again
    Photo: Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • NASA has announced that the launch of Artemis II, which will see astronauts fly around the moon, has been delayed to September 2025.

    • Meanwhile, Artemis III, the US space agency's mission to land astronauts on the lunar surface in late 2025, is now projected for launch in September 2026.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    The excitement of seeing human beings on the moon aside, NASA's lunar plan has a distinct military dimension that makes the Artemis project vital for the US. The space race of the 1960s is back, and China is the new USSR. However, China is far richer, technologically more sophisticated, and more ambitious about its lunar ventures. Letting Beijing, collaborating with an aggressive Moscow, take the lead can seriously compromise the US national security — which is why Artemis must take off ASAP.

    Narrative B

    The Artemis vs. Chang'e or the US vs. China race reflects the renewed hysteria over space. While no nation can claim sovereignty on the moon, there's a gray area as far as structures built on the moon are concerned — and that's what is fuelling this new-age space race. The US wants to remain the lead player even as China makes stunning advances on this front. The world powers are once again getting paranoid, and this is an extension of the constant fretting from Washington over the viability of US hegemony.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 1% chance that there will be a sustained human settlement on the moon for at least one year before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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