He Artemis Program This is the most ambitious project in recent history POT and aims to return astronauts to the Moon before the end of the current decade. The US space agency believes that this initiative, which includes close collaboration with companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin, will serve as a springboard for future expeditions to Mars. However, not everyone is equally concerned. Actually, Michael Griffinwho was NASA administrator during the George W. Bush administration, just asked to cancel. At least in its current format.

During a hearing before the US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Griffin did not mince words. “I’ll be frank. In my opinion, the Artemis program is too complex, has an unrealistic cost, compromises the safety of the crew, poses a very high risk of mission completion, and is unlikely to be completed on time even if it were completed. successful,” he said.

In fact, a former NASA administrator criticized the space agency for allegedly wasting time on a useless project. Although he avoided going into more detail on the issue in his speech, he did say that the Artemis program is not what the United States needs to maintain its global power. And he implied that those led by Bill Nelson today had lost sight of the risk of allowing China and Russia to win this new race to return to the moon.

“Our self-proclaimed adversaries, the Chinese Communist Party, along with their Russian partners, fully understand the significance of being on the space front in the world of global power politics. We don’t seem to understand it anymore. For the United States and its partners not to be on the moon when others are is unacceptable.. We need a program that addresses this issue. Artemis is not that program. […] “Congress must provide specific instructions to the executive branch to address this problem,” said Michael Griffin.

Michael Griffin, former NASA administrator, opposes the Artemis program

Michael Griffin, former NASA administrator, opposes the Artemis program

In addition to his brief comments at the aforementioned hearing, Griffin submitted a written statement outlining his position against the Artemis program. In fact he suggested it existing contracts with SpaceX and Blue Origin will be canceled immediately develop lunar landers and other key components for future missions.

But the former NASA administrator didn’t stop there. He also presented a program that could serve supposedly less risky replacement to what Artemis offers today. It would, according to the above, take a much more conservative approach, return to the methods the space agency used before private aerospace companies like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos entered the scene, and put astronauts on the Moon by 2029.

Ars Technique published an interesting report explaining why Michael Griffin’s proposal to replace Artemis This is complete nonsense. Not only because of the promised deadlines, but also because some of the technologies necessary for its implementation – rockets, for example – have not even been developed. I invite you to read it because it provides a very comprehensive expert perspective.

Of course, some of Griffin’s criticisms of the Artemis program are not without merit. Especially those related to the cost of the initiative. This is an issue that has, in fact, already caused a rift within NASA. Let’s not forget that an internal audit revealed that the development of the SLS rocket is already more than 6 years behind schedule and over budget by more than $6 billion.

However, the former US space agency administrator’s complaints centered on the “unreal value” of contracts awarded to companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. But not because they are expensive, rather the opposite.. Michael Griffin points out that technological advances make it logical that today’s programs cost much less than the Apollo missions. What’s unrealistic, he says, is that we expect to get back to the moon with less than 2% of what we spent in the sixties and seventies.

“The agency awarded fixed-price lunar landing contracts to SpaceX and Blue Origin worth $2.9 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively. The cost of the Apollo program over the 14-year period from 1960 to 1973 is estimated at $257 billion. , updated to 2020 dollars. It is reasonable to believe that, given flight experience and the space industrial infrastructure that exists today, manned lunar missions can and should be accomplished for much less money than Apollo. It is wholly unrealistic to suggest that they can be completed for. The award of these unrealistically low fixed price contracts makes it clear that the reasonableness of costs was not a factor in the classification of these contracts.”

Michael Griffin, former NASA administrator.

Are Artemis’ missions in jeopardy?

Griffin’s comments on the Artemis program and contracts with SpaceX and Blue Origin It can be more than just words floating in the air.. The former George W. Bush administration official also served in Donald Trump’s administration, although he was under secretary of defense for research and development.

His name is already being circulated as a candidate to replace Bill Nelson as NASA administrator if Trump wins the 2024 presidential election. Will this statement against the Artemis program be an indicator of what could happen if a Republican returns to the House of Representatives? It is impossible to know for now. However, today no one dares to rule anything out.

For now, Artemis is still running, although the program is not without problems. NASA recently announced that the mission Artemis IIwhich was supposed to launch this year and enter lunar orbit, has been delayed until September 2024. Artemis IIIwhich will land astronauts on the lunar surface for the first time in more than 50 years, has been delayed until 2026. Although experts believe that the last one will take place no earlier than 2028.

Source: Hiper Textual

Previous articlePresident Petro condemns daughter’s harassment at Florida theme park
Next articleSamsung Galaxy S24 will have iOS 17 functionality in Always On Display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here