NASA to land 3 astronauts on Moon in 2025

NASA is still aiming to land a crew of three US astronauts back on the Moon in 2025 despite continuing delays and problems with its Artemis program and new Space Launch System mega-rocket booster, the US space agency Administrator Bill Nelson told a congressional hearing.

“This mission – Artemis I – will take the Orion spacecraft and science payloads around the Moon, as well as test out systems in preparation for Artemis II – the first crewed launch, scheduled for 2024,” Nelson said in his testimony to the US House Appropriations Committee. “After these test flights and as early as 2025, NASA will launch Artemis III, returning US astronauts to the surface of the Moon.” NASA flight engineers have set a new projected date for their fourth attempt at a “wet dress rehearsal” check through of the Space Launch System rocket, the largest ever built by the United States for the Artemis 1 return to the Moon program, but problems with a helium valve issue have yet to be resolved, the space agency has admitted.

The agency plans to conduct another attempt of the wet dress rehearsal in early June to demonstrate the ability to load propellant into the tanks and conduct a full launch countdown ahead of the Artemis I launch this summer, NASA said.

If the wet dress rehearsal is finally held and successfully concluded in June, the unmanned launch of Artemis 1 could finally take place in the launch windows of August 23 through 29 or September 2 ending on September 6, NASA added.

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