The word "ambitious" has been circulating in NASA Artemis program, which aims to return astronauts to the moon in 2024, foreign media reported. A report released this month by NASA suggests the 2024 target may be a bit too ambitious.
It is reported that NASA's inspector general's office has listed the first woman and the next man to land on the moon before 2024 as the "first challenge" in its 2020 report of top management and performance challenges. The mission of the office is to supervise NASA's programs and operations.
In 2019, the trump administration announced Artemis Project and its plan for human landing on the moon in 2024. NASA originally planned to return to earth in 2028. The agency sees the moon as a stepping stone to eventually send humans to Mars.
The report also lists the obstacles to return to the moon by 2024, including the total cost of the project, delays in space launch systems, and the continuing schedule impact of the new crown pandemic. "Given these multiple challenges, we believe that by the end of 2024, it will be very difficult for NASA to land astronauts on the moon," the report said
Due to outstanding funding issues and the upcoming administration of newly elected President Joe Biden, the NASA moon landing schedule looks increasingly uncertain. Current NASA director Jim Brittenstein is expected to resign after Biden takes office. And the new leadership may have new ideas about how to implement Artemis projects.
However, the Igo report does not completely eliminate the 2024 dream - "at least, achieving any date close to this ambitious goal of reaching Mars in the 1930s - requires strong, consistent, sustained leadership and stable and timely funding from the president, Congress, and NASA."