Private aerospace company SpaceX has offered NASA to develop the necessary equipment required to send astronauts to the Moon. SpaceX is a private aerospace company. It is owned by space enthusiast Elon Musk. The firm has offered its services to expedite the work for the development of spacesuits. If NASA accepts SpaceX’s services, this will help the space agency to get the ambitious Artemis program back on schedule. The mission is facing an imminent delay as NASA spacesuits are unlikely to be ready in the prescribed time. The space agency had in 2019 directed to develop all the necessary equipment that will be required for sending astronauts back to the Moon under its Artemis program.
However, complications delayed the development of equipment. As a result, a delay is now looming over the Artemis schedule. NASA has plans to launch three Moon-bound spacecraft. The first will be an uncrewed spacecraft. It will be launched in 2021. It will return to Earth after orbiting the Moon. The second will be a crewed spacecraft. NASA has proposed to launch the spacecraft in 2023. The crewed spacecraft will circle the Moon and return to Earth. This will also be the first crewed spacecraft that will travel beyond Earth’s orbit after 50 years. The last spacecraft that flew beyond Earth’s orbit was Apollo 17 in 1972. The third and final spacecraft will be launched in 2024 under the Artemis program. It will see two astronauts landing on the lunar surface.
According to NASA, the new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Units spacesuits may not be ready by the time the agency prepares for the launch of spacecraft. Notably, the development of spacesuits started in 2007 as part of the Constellation Program. The crewed program was, however, canceled by NASA in 2009. The efforts to develop spacesuits gained momentum in 2017 when NASA launched the xEMU project. Astronauts aboard the ISS currently use these spacesuits for spacewalks. But these spacesuits require technological advancements. NASA wants to develop a next-generation spacesuit that can be used in other missions as well.