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Artemis I, Israeli visit, Trump in PA: 3 things to watch in politics this week

Jobs day might not be until Friday, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of fodder coming from Washington, D.C., this week.

Here are three things to watch at the intersection of business and politics:

Artemis I Mission launch delayed

Early on Monday, NASA announced it has postponed the launch of Artemis I due to an engine issue. The rocket is supposed to go on a 42-day mission beyond the moon and return to earth.

CNN reported that the next available window for the Artemis I to blast off would be September 2. However, it's unclear whether NASA will aim for that date.

NASA's next-generation moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) , sits on the pad as mission managers worked to overcome technical issues, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
NASA's next-generation moon rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), sits on the pad as mission managers worked to overcome technical issues, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

Vice President Kamala Harris was expected to attend the high-profile launch, which NASA hoped would usher in a new era of U.S. space exploration. Many scientists described the mission as a gateway to sending humans to Mars. It also aims to put the U.S. on a trajectory to send the first female and person of color to the moon in 2025, Smithsonian magazine reported.

The delayed mission comes at a time in which geopolitics has quickly transformed galactic politics after Russia announced that it plans to pull out of the International Space Station in 2024.

Israeli delegation to the U.S.

The head of Israeli intelligence will travel to Washington in the coming days as the U.S. inches closer to an Iran nuclear agreement.

Tehran has been holding ongoing discussions with the U.S. and European Union about reentering a nuclear disarmament deal. The U.S. pulled out of the deal in 2018, citing that Iran did not follow the terms of the agreement.

FILE - Benny Gantz speaks at the announcement of former IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot's election bid in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022.  Gantz said Friday, Aug. 26, it was important to maintain capabilities for “defensive and offensive purposes” as he met with a senior U.S. official to reiterate Israel's opposition to an emerging nuclear deal with Iran. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov, File)
Benny Gantz speaks at the announcement of former IDF chief Gadi Eisenkot's election bid in Ramat Gan, Israel, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/ Tsafrir Abayov, File)

Mossad chief David Barnea is expected to brief congressional intelligence officials and other administration officials about concerns over the deal in closed-door meetings. Barnea's visit comes after Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz went to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, Florida, last week to meet with U.S. military officials.

Iran is seen as a potential alternative for oil supply for Europe as Russia's war with Ukraine is likely to extend into the fall and winter.

Trump returns to Pennsylvania

Former President Donald Trump will head to Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, this week to campaign for two MAGA-backed candidates: gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastraiano and Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz.

FILE - Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, left, accompanied by former President Donald Trump, speaks at a campaign rally in Greensburg, Pa., Friday, May 6, 2022. If Dr. Mehmet Oz is elected to the U.S. Senate this fall, he'll be the first Muslim to serve in the chamber. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, left, accompanied by former President Donald Trump, speaks at a campaign rally in Greensburg, Pa., Friday, May 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Both candidates are struggling in the polls after a group of Pennsylvania GOP state officials endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate and the state's attorney general Josh Shapiro out of concern that Mastriano's views are too extreme.

Meanwhile, Oz has had a rough summer on the campaign trail, especially in the aftermath of a grocery shopping gaffe involving crudité. According to an August Franklin & Marshall poll, Fetterman is beating Oz 43% to 30% while Shapiro is ahead against Mastriano 44% to 33%.

Trump carried Pennsylvania in 2016 — the first time a Republican won Pennsylvania in a presidential election since George Bush in 1988. But he lost the state to Biden in 2020. Trump's MAGA movement will be tested in Pennsylvania as both Mastriano and Oz are seen as direct offshoots of the former president.

Kevin Cirilli is a visiting media fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global China Hub and the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy at Purdue. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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