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NASA calls new report on Artemis II redundant and ultimately unhelpful

Published May 3rd, 2024 5:33PM EDT
illustration of Artemis missions and SLS rocket stages
Image: Vadimsadovski / Adobe

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NASA’s acting inspector general, Georga A. Scott has released new Artemis II report meant to look at just how ready NASA is for the upcoming space mission set to launch next year. According to the new report, the Orion heat shield issues that NASA talked about last year are a huge cause for concern.

This isn’t really surprising, especially considering NASA has already talked about its struggles to find the root cause of the heat shield issues that Orion faced during Artemis I. These are issues that the space agency will need to sort out before it can safely send astronauts into space aboard Orion.

The real surprise, though, is in how NASA responded to the Artemis II report, with Catherine Koerner, the associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, stating that the “redundancy in the above recommendations does not help to ensure whether NASA’s programs are organized, managed, and implemented economically, effectively, and efficiently.”

artemis III mission map
NASA outlines its plans for landing Artemis III on the Moon a few years from now. Image source: NASA

It’s very clear that NASA officials are starting to feel the pressure, especially when it comes to its iconic missions to return humanity to the surface of the Moon. And with all the problems surrounding NASA’s Mars Sample Return, it isn’t surprising to see NASA lashing out in a way at the inspector general’s report.

This Artemis II report is, no doubt, more fuel to the fire that NASA officials already feel burning beneath their butts as they work to make all of their ambitious space endeavors work out in the coming years. While the report doesn’t necessarily outline anything new, it does help highlight the issues facing NASA’s missions, which is what the inspector general is meant to do.

And, considering NASA’s troubles finding out what happened with the heat shield, the additional pressure could help push the team over the edge of discovery, or it could make them buckle under the pressure. Only time will tell. For now, though, it seems NASA remains dedicated to the 2025 launch of Artemis II.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.