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Sunday, November 28, 2021

NASA delays moon landings as China becomes ‘aggressive’ competitor in space race

NASA administrator Bill Nelson said that the space agency’s moon landings will most likely take place no earlier than the year 2025.

As China is also working towards a manned moon landing, Nelson said that it’s imperative that the US continues to press on.

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As well as a manned moon landing, China is also building a new space station in low-Earth orbit.

The is the first official delay being confirmed for the Artemis programme which aims to put the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024.

The programme was announced by the Donald Trump administration in 2019 but the ambitious timeline was met with scepticism.

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A series of issues have resulted in delays for the programme which includes several lawsuits from Jeff Bezos who was angered by the fact that his spaceflight company Blue Origin was turned down for a $2.9 billion contract awarded to Elon Musk’s business SpaceX.

It was confirmed earlier this year that the goal remained 2024 but Blue Origin’s protest against the awarding of the contract had held up progress.

Mr. Nelson stated, “With the recent lawsuit and other factors, the first human landing under Artemis is likely no earlier than 2025”.

He added, “We have every reason to believe that we have a very aggressive competitor in the Chinese. It’s the position of NASA and, I believe, the United States government that we want to be first back on the moon”.

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