After 45 years, it was announced that we are returning to the moon. Much like the push by JFK, the aggressive timeline for the missions to get us to the moon felt all too impossible to believe. Phase one of Artemis has been completed and it’s full speed ahead to phases two and three.
The Artemis Program
It’s aggressive, amazing, and astounding. It’s the Artemis program, and for the first time in over forty years, it’s what will return humans to the moon. Artemis will attempt to reestablish a human presence on the moon for the first time since Apollo 17.
Through the use of innovative technologies, Artemis will not only be able to explore more of the surface than ever before but will also be landing the first woman and the first person of color on the moon. Through a collaborative effort with commercial and international partners Artemis intends to begin the process of establishing the first long-term presence on the moon. From there, the mission is hoped to aid humanity in making the even bigger leap — sending the first astronauts to Mars.
On November 16th, 2022, Artemis I launched. NASA officially started the Artemis program that day. After nearly 26 days of a mission to the Moon and back, the command module of the Orion space capsule splashed down on December 11, 2022, off the Mexican coast. NASA and the U.S. Navy successfully recovered it from the ocean.
May 2024 Artemis II Launch
Artemis II is scheduled for launch in May 2024. IT will carry humans on board the Orion, although, it will not land on the moon. Instead of a moon landing, the craft is going to orbit the moon and return to Earth. This is reminiscent of the Apollo missions when both Apollo 8 and Apollo 10 circled the moon with a full crew and headed back to Earth.
Artemis II may not be landing, but it will be the first crewed mission to leave Earth’s low orbit in the 21st century and will follow the path of Apollo 17, which made its trip in 1972.
During the Artemis II mission, there are numerous tests planned. The crew will be testing critical functions, mission planning, system performance, crew interfaces, and navigation and guidance systems in deep space according to NASA’s Bill Hill in an article on Inverse.
The Artemis II will go around Earth, firing its engine, and build up enough speed to propel toward the Moon. Flying over 4500 miles above the lunar surface, this will be the furthest that astronauts have been from Earth. This mission will consist of three Americans and one Canadian.
Artemis III To Take To The Air In 2025, With Luck
With any luck, Artemis III will lift off in 2025 and the most sensational event of the last decade will change to “Man Returns To The Moon.”
Artemis I and II are the support systems of the program’s main star: Artemis III. If NASAs tests all go well, we will get the main event many science and space fans have been dreaming of their entire lives. Our generation and our children's, and in some cases grandchildren, will see our kind return to the moon.
Once Artemis III lands on the moon, presuming all the stars align for the 2025 mission window, they’ll be on the Moon’s South Pole. The South Pole is unexplored and is on the far side of the moon out of Earth's view. Once there, they’re only just beginning, as the long-term plan is to send up teams of astronauts to explore the lunar surface once every year.
History is going to be made. Whether it's in 2024 or 2026 remains to be seen. For the first time in over 50 years we're on the brink of doing something we haven't done before, and returning to a place we mysteriously left in the seventies. For those born in the sixties, seventies, eighties, and beyond, we'll be able to understand everything that's happening when this history-making day unfolds. For generations behind us, it's the start of something incredible as Artemis is the first step toward yearly lunar missions and eventually going to Mars.
About the Creator
I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.