After the US space agency’s Inspector General revealed that it was encountering serious hurdles, making a manned lunar landing in 2024 unfeasible, Elon Musk stated his aerospace business SpaceX may help NASA construct spacesuits for its Artemis Moon mission. The manufacture of the first two flight-ready Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuits was one of the most difficult undertakings. The spacesuits were supposed to be completed by November 2024, but according to the NASA Office of Inspector General, there will be a delay and the suits won’t be ready for the journey until at least April 2025.
“NASA’s Inspector General says delays in spacesuit development are another factor making a 2024 astronaut Moon landing impossible,” CNBC’s space reporter Michael Sheetz quoted from the Inspector General report titled “NASA’s Development Of Next-generation Spacesuits,” saying, “NASA’s Inspector General says delays in spacesuit development are another factor making a 2024 astronaut Moon landing impossible.” He stated that the spacesuits won’t be ready for flight until April 2025 at the earliest, after spending $420 million (approximately Rs. 3,125 crores) and expecting another $625 million (about Rs. 4,650 crores).
NASA's Inspector General says delays in spacesuit development are another factor making a 2024 astronaut Moon landing impossible.
With $420M spent and another $625M expected, suits won't be "ready for flight until April 2025 at the earliest."
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) August 10, 2021
SpaceX could do it if need be
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 10, 2021
According to NASA’s analysis, the delays — ascribed to funding deficits, COVID-19 implications, and technical issues — left no time for the two flight-ready spacesuits to be delivered. According to the article, the suits would not be flight-ready until April 2025 at the earliest, due to integration needs. Furthermore, NASA will have spent over $1 billion (approximately Rs. 7,445 crores) on the development and assembly of its next-generation spacesuits by the time two flight-ready xEMUs are available, it added.
The Inspector-General stated in another portion of the report that NASA was intended to design, test, and develop the xEMU by 2019 and send flight-ready spacesuits to the ISS by 2023. According to the story, NASA was supposed to furnish suits for the Artemis III Mission by 2028, but when the mission was pushed back to 2024, the space agency was forced to speed up its work as well.
By March 31, 2023, NASA was intended to deliver these suits to its HLS Program for integration. After lower funding for spacesuit development in FY 2021, COVID-19 repercussions, and persistent technical challenges, the deadline has been pushed back 20 months to November 2024, according to the report.
NASA will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon as part of the Artemis Mission, according to NASA’s website. It will also use cutting-edge technology to explore more of the lunar surface than has ever been done before.