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Moonwalk delayed to 2026; NASA postpones next 2 Artemis missions

The Artemis program, costing billions, aims to return astronauts to the moon, marking the first such mission since 1972.
Moonwalk delayed to 2026; NASA postpones next 2 Artemis missions
Posted at 2:39 PM, Jan 09, 2024

The first human moon landing in over 50 years has been postponed to 2026.

NASA's Artemis II mission, aiming to return humans to the moon's orbit by Nov. of this year, has been rescheduled to Sept. 2025 due to safety and technical concerns. Consequently, the first human moon landing since 1972 is now slated for Sept. 2026.

“Safety is our top priority, and to give Artemis teams more time to work through the challenges with first-time developments, operations and integration, we're going to give more time on Artemis II and III," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said during the briefing Tuesday. "So, what I want to tell you is, we are adjusting our schedule to target Artemis II for September of 2025 and September of 2026 for Artemis III which will send humans for the first time to the lunar south pole." 

NASA relies on private companies, particularly SpaceX's Starship, for its Artemis moon-landing program. Starship is crucial for transporting Artemis moonwalkers between lunar orbit and the surface. However, Starship's limited launches and recent challenges are delaying NASA's moon landing.

Four astronauts are set to break the 50-year moon hiatus, and two of them are making history. Christina Koch will be the first woman on a lunar mission, and Victor Glover will be the first Black astronaut to go to the moon.

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