We got a leaked look at NASA’s future Moon missions—and likely delays

Enlarge / A rendering of SpaceX’s Starship lander on the surface of the Moon. (credit: NASA)

For several years now, NASA has publicly discussed the initial phase of its Artemis Moon program. These first three missions, to be conducted over the next four or five years, are steps toward establishing a human presence on the Moon.

The Artemis I mission should launch later this year, testing NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and boosting the Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit. The second mission, Artemis II, will more or less be a repeat, only with four humans on board Orion. Then comes the big test, Artemis III, which will send two humans to the Moon and back during the middle of this decade.

Beyond these missions, however, NASA has been vague about the timing of future Artemis missions to the Moon, even as some members of Congress have pressed for more details. Now, we may know why. Ars Technica has obtained internal planning documents from the space agency showing an Artemis mission schedule and manifest for now through fiscal year 2034.

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