Artemis-Mission to the Moon

Source: NASA

Source: NASA

The NASA Artemis missions aim to send the first woman, and man to the Moon by 2024. According to NASA, the Artemis missions will try to:

  • Demonstrate new technologies, capabilities, and business approaches needed for future exploration including Mars
  • Establish American leadership and a strategic presence on the Moon while expanding our U.S. global economic impact
  • Broaden our commercial and international partnerships
  • Inspire a new generation and encourage careers in STEM

What will we use to get there?

Space exploration and equipment has come a long way in the 51 years than have passed between when we sent Neil Armstrong to the moon. Among the the parts that NASA has upgraded are the Ground Launch Systems at Kennedy Space Center, spacesuits, the capsule, and the rocket.

The capsule:

The capsule, called Orion, is designed to carry crew into a lunar orbit, where the will then continue to orbit or descend to the surface. This design is notably different than the previous space capsules because of the new Ascent-Abort 2 system. The Ascent-Abort system is designed to (if there is an error during take-off) propel the crew compartment away from the ship using high-pressure thrusters and will maneuver it so that the crew hits the ocean.

The rocket:

The new rocket is designed to be the most powerful one ever built, even more than the Saturn V used to send Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (as well as Michael Collins) to the moon in 1969. The new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) is designed for longer distance flights as well, because Artemis missions will be the gateway to Mars and beyond.

New: The Gateway

A new lunar outpost, called The Gateway, will be constantly orbiting the moon, serving as a place for scientific research and experiments. NASA and other space agencies (ESA and Roscosmos) plan for The Gateway to be a gateway and checkpoint for deep space exploration.

Why do this?

We shall redefine the limits on the moon, sending astronauts to the Lunar South Pole, previously unvisited. Artemis will try to find water and other resources that will be essential for more deep space exploration. This exploration will also explore some of the approaches we might use to get to further areas, such as Mars or even Europa.

What does this mean for us?

If the Artemis missions succeed, then we can move on to deeper space exploration, maybe moving on to the giant moons of Jupiter or Saturn (Ganymede, Europa, and Titan). These missions will lead us into the next exploration age: Deep Space.

 

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