After almost 50 years, humanity is now again preparing for a manned flight to the moon. With the help of a team of experts and scientists at NASA, the famed Apollo mission will soon be superseded by another ambitious flight to the Earth’s natural satellite – the Artemis I.
The Artemis program, named after the twin sister of Apollo, will make its way to the moon and land on where Apollo last ventured. The team is expected to travel across unexplored lunar regions. Looking ahead, NASA hopes that the Artemis missions will make it to the surface of Mars.
For the first time, humans would discover what is in the shadowy regions found south of the moon. The Artemis mission intends to find a stable area where astronauts could stay for extended periods of time and use findings to help in plans to shoot to Mars.
Over a month ago, NASA’s rover discovered stable pits on the surface of the moon where the temperature is stable and could support human life. Unfortunately, due to the volatility of the moon’s surface, astronauts have had a difficult time staying on the moon’s surface for a long time. However, with the discovery, NASA is confident that the Artemis I could achieve what it came for.
What the Artemis I mission is
The Artemis launches on August 29. To ensure the safety of possible humans going into the intended region, the first flight would be unmanned but highly observed. NASA will lead the operations of Artemis I and check every factor that could help the agency come up with measures and countermeasures to guarantee smooth flight of the manned missions of Artemis II and Artemis III.
The subsequent missions will be based on the findings of Artemis I. NASA says that Artemis II will be launched in 2024, then Artemis III the year after.
The liftoff will commence at around 8:33 a.m. and 10:33 a.m. ET this August 29 from Florida. As expected, Americans would make their way to the Kennedy Space Center, where people could see the spectacle as the mission will start.
After liftoff, Artemis I will embark on a 42-day voyage where it will travel 40,000 miles beyond the moon, thanks to the Orion spacecraft. If successful, the journey will be farther than what Apollo has achieved. It is important that NASA oversees the mission since Artemis I’s path would be the same journey that the manned Artemis II will take.
“As we embark on the first Artemis test flight, we recall this agency’s storied past, but our eyes are focused not on the immediate future but out there,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
“It’s a future where NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. And on these increasingly complex missions, astronauts will live and work in deep space, and we’ll develop the science and technology to send the first humans to Mars.”
The Space Launch Rocket System propelling Artemis I to the moon is a design based on all the information and data from the Apollo mission. The rocket could carry the craft a thousand times farther than the low-Earth orbit location of the International Space Station. Further, the rocket will speed up the Orion up to 22,600 miles per hour.
“It’s the only rocket that’s capable of sending Orion and a crew and supplies into deep space on a single launch,” said the program manager of the SLS, John Honeycutt.
“It’s the powerhouse side of the vehicle where it’s got the primary propulsion, power and life support resources we need for Artemis I. Re-entry will be great to demonstrate our heat shield capability, making sure that the spacecraft comes home safely and, of course for future missions, protecting the crew,” added the Orion program manager of NASA, Howard Hu.
“Artemis I shows that we can do big things, things that unite people, things that benefit humanity — things like Apollo that inspire the world,” Nelson added. “And to all of us that gaze up at the moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface: Folks, we’re here, we are going back, and that journey, our journey, begins with Artemis I.”