NASA's Artemis I launch is a make-or-break moment – Axios

NASA's Artemis program to return people to the surface of the Moon for the first time since the 1970s is a test of whether the space agency's old way of exploration will stand up in the modern space age.
Why it matters: If next week's scheduled launch of the new moon rocket — the Space Launch System — succeeds, it could prove that NASA is still on the cutting edge of the technology needed for human space exploration, even as companies like SpaceX nip at its heels.
Catch up quick: The SLS is expected to lift off on Aug. 29, sending an uncrewed Orion capsule on a journey around the Moon and back to Earth.
The big picture: The SLS was first ordered by Congress in 2010 and built in much the same way as the Apollo program's Saturn V — using contracts with legacy aerospace companies that trade cost savings for reliability.
The intrigue: NASA itself is already turning toward public and private, fixed-price partnerships that allow the space agency to buy services from private industry and save money in the process.
Yes, but: Other experts say that a program of national importance like the SLS doesn't necessarily need to be — or should be — the most cost-effective. It just needs to work well.
The public/private partnership model also has its own risks.


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