Elon Musk has said he is ready to help kit out NASA with spacesuits after the agency revealed it was behind schedule in producing them, potentially delaying the planned moon landing for 2024.
A report from NASA’s Inspector General Office made it clear that funding problems due to the coronavirus pandemic and technical issues had meant that they were behind schedule on the new spacesuits.
Now they are not expected to be ready until April 2025, further delaying the moon mission.
The report also said that the spacesuits would cost more than £847 million.
But Musk said he would be ready to jump in and help out if asked.
He responded to a tweet by journalist Michael Sheetz about the NASA report by writing: “SpaceX could do it if need be.”
Then on another post about the large number of companies providing parts for the spacesuits, Musk was critical about the process.
He wrote: “Seems like too many cooks in the kitchen.”
The spacesuits are just one of the problems that NASA is facing over its planned moon mission that are causing delays.
There has also been difficulties arising in the development of a lunar lander to put astronauts on the surface of the moon.
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NASA had chosen SpaceX to make the spacecraft to put astronauts back on the Moon – but Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Dynetics have both complained about the selection process which has now been postponed.
"NASA's current schedule is to produce the first two flight-ready xEMUs [Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit] by November 2024, but the Agency faces significant challenges in meeting this goal," reads the report titled NASA's Development of Next-Generation Spacesuits.
"This schedule includes approximately a 20-month delay in delivery for the planned design, verification, and testing suit, two qualification suits, an ISS Demo suit, and two lunar flight suits.
"These delays—attributable to funding shortfalls, COVID-19 impacts, and technical challenges—have left no schedule margin for delivery of the two flight-ready xEMUs."
The US space agency is looking to develop two types of spacesuits, with the intravehicular worn inside a spacecraft, and extravehicular suits which is put on for exploring outside.
NASA has already spent £303million on spacesuit development since 2007, before the advent of its Artemis programme, and it aims to invest approximately £451million more through to 2025, according to the report.
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