In spite of spending more than a billion dollars on the next-generation spacesuits, NASA might miss the target of 2024 to return American astronauts to the Moon. NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin submitted a report on the subject.

CNN says there is already a considerable amount of delay to the delivery schedule. It seems many factors led to these delays. These included non-receipt of funds in time, impact of coronavirus and technical challenges. Moreover, there are several companies involved in supplying a wide variety of components. These are required for the suits and have to be integrated into the final product.

It is a complex procedure. SpaceX's Elon Musk dropped hints that he could lend a hand “if need be.” In April 2019, NASA wanted to fast track Moon landing to 2024 and send astronauts to Mars by 2033.

SpaceX already has a contract with NASA to develop the lunar lander

As a part of the Artemis program of NASA, SpaceX would develop the lunar lander. Elon Musk owns the company and had to face competition from two major competitors to land the contract. Bill Nelson is the current NASA Administrator. During a recent meeting with a section of the media, he said: "I'm soberly realistic. The goal is 2024, but Space is hard.” He explains that one major factor is the safety of humans. The work involves new technologies and the teams have to tread with caution.

Apart from the comfort level, the spacesuit must have provisions for a whole lot of inbuilt features related to communication and safety. These would probably be never-used-before concepts. CNN goes on to add that NASA has its focus on developing the next-generation spacesuits. These would be necessary for the International Space Station and Artemis missions.

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Incidentally, at present astronauts use spacesuits designed for the Space Shuttle Program.

NASA has been working on new spacesuit technology for the last 14 years

The historic forthcoming lunar landing requires spacesuit technology that can meet the requirements of the modern century. What was OK for Neil Armstrong in 1979 would be totally out of place in 2024.

Times have changed, as have technologies. The requirement of NASA is for the Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs. They come as a package and consists of the spacesuit apart from a whole range of associated hardware. Astronauts would use these to establish links with the ISS and other spacecraft. The American space agency has been working on the development of new spacesuit technology for more than a decade. The goal of NASA is to land the first woman and the next man on the moon. It was originally set for 2028 by former President Donald Trump but was subsequently shifted to November 2024. The Biden administration retained it but with a slight modification – it wants to land the first person of color on the Moon.

Delays in spacesuit development means NASA would miss the deadline of 2024

According to space.com, NASA had a deadline of 2024 to land humans on the moon. However, in view of delays in spacesuit development, it is difficult for the agency to meet the schedule. It is creating the suits, which would be an integral part of the Artemis program. Astronauts would wear them when they set foot on the Moon and NASA is running against time. It seems Elon Musk has dropped hints that his company could enter the scene to make things happen. His concept of using recycled rockets helped to bring economy in operations. In fact, SpaceX already uses recycled rocket to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.