NASA’s plan to land astronauts on the moon faces more delays, pushing the first landing from 2025 to 2026. This impacts the initial two Artemis program missions. Artemis 3, the first crewed moon landing with SpaceX’s Starship, is rescheduled for September 2026 instead of late 2025. The prior mission, Artemis 2, where four astronauts orbit the moon in Lockheed’s Orion capsule, is set for September 2025. NASA’s leader, Bill Nelson, cites the delays as necessary for the Artemis teams to address industry challenges.

NASA changed its plans because they understood the challenges faced by their partners. Amit Kshatriya, who leads NASA’s exploration strategy, mentioned problems with Orion’s parts causing delays. The plan involves astronauts using different spacecraft, moving from Orion to SpaceX’s Starship system. SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, is having trouble docking and refueling “tanker” Starships. Jessica Jensen, SpaceX’s vice president, says about 10 Starship launches are needed. These issues show how space exploration is complex.