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NASA to re-attempt launch of Artemis I moon rocket


NASA to re-attempt launch of Artemis I moon rocket

NASA Artemis launch
Photo of the NASA Artemis I rocket at launch pad
NASA will reattempt the launch of the Artemis I moon rocket today after scuttling prior attempts due to engine issues – Photo: AP

NASA is expected to make another attempt to launch its unmanned Artemis I lunar mission, after being scrubbed on Monday due to possible engine issues.

The over-budget, long-awaited mission will kick off the agency’s efforts to land astronauts on the moon by 2025 and ultimately send humans to Mars.

The rocket’s month-long journey around the moon will demonstrate NASA’s capabilities, particularly to rival China who has been rapidly advancing its own Tiangong space station project and is aiming to land astronauts on the moon in 2030. Additionally, the first country to once again land on the moon will be positioned for greater scientific progress, mining possibilities, and geopolitical primacy.

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Although the space race is undeniable, expect the US to remain ahead. While NASA’S 2022 budget was $24 billion, China’s 2020 budget was only $8.9 billion. Of the 4,500 satellites currently in orbit, 2,700 belong to the US — seven times as many as China. In addition, China’s private space industry is still catching up to the US. However, China has made significant progress, namely by photographing the entirety of Mars and building its own space station. Going forward, expect China to work with Russia in order to continue competing with the US.

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