In an attempt to become a multi-planetary species, space agencies like NASA and private companies like SpaceX are working hard to develop their Mars colonization mission. However, space experts believe that building a permanent base on the moon is very much necessary to successfully carry out the Mars colonization mission. As an initial step to build a base on the moon, NASA is planning to land humans on the lunar surface by 2024.
NASA's Moon Mission Will be Delayed
NASA under the leadership of Jim Bridenstine has achieved tremendous progress in shaping the upcoming Artemis mission. However, Bridenstine may step down as Joe Biden takes control of the White House, and the NASA chief recently hinted it.
And now, an audit from the space agency's office of inspector general (OIG) has suggested that the space agency's deadline to complete the Artemis mission is unrealistic.
Gateway's initial plan, scheduled to launch together in early 2024, consists of the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), which powers and propels the spacecraft in orbit, and the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), which provides a docking location for the Orion capsule and living and working spaces for crewmembers.
"The development schedules for both the PPE and HALO have been negatively impacted by the Agency's still-evolving Gateway requirements, including NASA's decision to co-manifest and launch the two elements on the same commercial rocket rather than separately as initially intended," the audit report said.
According to the audit report, the Gateway that comprises of a laboratory which will orbit the moon may be most likely be unavailable by 2024, and as a result, the entire progress of the mission will be delayed.
Delay Could Negatively Impact Mars Mission
As the Artemis mission will be delayed, it will negatively impact the future of Mars missions too. Apart from the delay, the space agency is also on the cusp of facing funding issues.
In the meantime, Bridenstine has revealed that he will not be a part of NASA in the future. According to Bridenstine, he will not be a suitable person to chair the space agency under Biden's administration.
"Whoever the president is, they have to have somebody they know and trust and somebody the administration trusts. That person is not going to be me," said Bridenstine.