To the Moon and beyond: NASA’s Artemis program

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NASA’s SLS rocket is seen August 26, 2022 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Artemis program is NASA’s plan to return humans to the Moon as a stepping stone for an eventual voyage to Mars.

Twelve men walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972 and one of the goals of Artemis is to put the first woman and person of color on the lunar surface.

The first test flight of an uncrewed Artemis rocket is to take place on Monday.

The name Artemis was chosen to echo that of the Apollo program.

Artemis, in Greek mythology, was the twin sister of Apollo and a goddess associated with the Moon.

Here is an overview of the Artemis program:






Artemis 1: test flight

Artemis 1 is a of the 322-foot (98-meter) Space Launch System rocket and the Orion crew capsule that sits on top.

Blastoff is scheduled for 8:33 am (1233 GMT) on Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Mannequins equipped with sensors will take the place of crew members on the flight, recording vibration, acceleration and .

Orion will orbit the Moon before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Artemis 2: first crew

Planned for 2024, Artemis 2 will be a crewed flight that will orbit the Moon but not land on the surface, similar to what Apollo 8 did.

The four members of the crew will be named before the end of the year. A Canadian is expected to be among them.

Artemis 3: Moon landing

The third Artemis mission will be the first to put astronauts on the Moon since Apollo 17 in December 1972.

NASA, for the first time, will land a crewed spacecraft on the southern pole of the Moon, where water in the form of ice has been detected.

Previous Moon landings took place near the equator.

Artemis 3 is scheduled for 2025 but may not take place until 2026 at the earliest, according to an independent audit of the program.

Starting with Artemis 3, NASA plans to launch crewed missions about once a year.

SpaceX Moon lander

NASA has selected Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build the Moon lander for Artemis 3.

SpaceX’s Starship, which is still under development, will serve as a shuttle from the Orion crew capsule to the lunar surface and back.

Gateway space station

The Artemis program also calls for the construction of a space station called Gateway that will orbit the Moon.

The launch of the first two elements—the living quarters module and power and propulsion system—is planned for late 2024 at the earliest by a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.

Orion crews would be responsible for assembly of Gateway.

Astronauts would spend between 30 to 60 days in Gateway and would eventually have access to a lander that would allow them to travel to the Moon and back.

Gateway would also serve as a stopping point for any future trip to Mars.

Destination Mars

The ultimate objective of the Artemis program is what NASA calls the “next giant leap—human exploration of Mars.”

NASA will use knowledge gained from Artemis about next generation spacesuits, vehicles, propulsion, resupply and other areas to prepare for a trip to Mars.

The goal is to learn how to maintain a in deep space for a long period.

Creating a “base camp” on the Moon is part of the plan with astronauts staying on the for up to two months.

While a trip to the Moon takes just a few days, a voyage to Mars would take a minimum of several months.



© 2022 AFP

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To the Moon and beyond: NASA’s Artemis program (2022, August 28)
retrieved 29 August 2022
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NASA Artemis1 to carry ASU CubeSat into space

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LunaH-Map team (L-R) Joe DuBois, Tyler O’Brien, Nathaniel Streubel, Craig Hardgrove (NASA Principal Investigator). Credit: ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration

The Lunar Polar Hydrogen Mapper (LunaH-Map) mission is one of the tiniest NASA planetary science missions but has big science goals. Previous missions and studies have identified the presence of water-ice at the Moon’s poles. However, there are still unanswered questions about how much water-ice is contained within permanently shadowed regions.

It is also unknown how much water-ice might be retained at depth throughout illuminated regions of the lunar South Pole. LunaH-Map will answer those questions by entering around the Moon and producing a neutron map that will reveal where and how much water-ice is hidden across the lunar South Pole.

LunaH-Map will help us understand the origins of water on the Moon and how it has been redistributed since the Moon’s formation. The maps will also be used to plan future missions and landing sites for robotic and human water-ice prospecting.







CubeSat will find and map water ice at the Moon’s South Pole. Credit: ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration






What we hope to learn from the LunaH-Map CubeSat. Credit: ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration


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Hexbyte Glen Cove Uncrewed Artemis I mission to Moon pushed back

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NASA’s giant SLS rocket will be used for the Artemis mission to take humans back to the Moon.

The first mission in NASA’s program to take humans back to the Moon has been delayed until spring at the earliest, the US space agency said Wednesday, saying it needed more time to complete safety checks.

The Artemis I launch, initially scheduled for late 2021 and then postponed twice more, will now happen no earlier than April.

“Teams are taking operations a step at a time to ensure the integrated system is ready to safely launch the Artemis I mission. NASA is reviewing launch opportunities in April and May,” NASA said in a statement.

Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight test, but will signal the real start of the program, which could eventually see the first woman and the first person of color to step foot on the Moon.

Artemis I also will be the first flight of the massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which will carry the Orion capsule to the Moon, where it will be put into orbit before returning to Earth.

The testing of the SLS system, which had been set for this month, is now expected to take place at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in March, NASA said.

For that test, the rocket will be moved to the , fueled up and the launch sequence initiated—except for the actual take-off.

This test will then help the US agency set an actual launch date.

There is no “specific” issue that sparked the additional delays, Tom Whitmeyer, the deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development at NASA Headquarters in Washington, told reporters.

“It could be something as simple as a scratch that needs to be polished out or some paint that needs to be fixed. There’s just a lot of that—it’s a really big vehicle,” he said.

A few months ago, a government audit indicated that Artemis I would likely take place “in the summer of 2022.”



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Uncrewed Artemis I mission to Moon pushed back (2022, February 2)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove US targeting Feb. 2022 to launch new lunar program Artemis

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A NASA employee holds the official Artemis mission patch at NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

NASA is aiming to launch its uncrewed lunar mission Artemis 1 in February next year, the space agency said Friday, the first step in America’s plan to return humans to the Moon.

The agency had initially hoped to launch the by the end of this year, with astronauts set to walk on the Moon by 2024.

It achieved a major milestone Wednesday when it stacked the Orion crew capsule atop its Space Launch System megarocket, which now stands 322 feet (98 meters) tall inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After further tests, it will be wheeled out to the launchpad for a “wet dress rehearsal” in January, with the first window for launch opening in February, officials told reporters on a call.

“The February launch period opens on the 12th and our last opportunity in February is on the 27th,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 mission manager. The next windows are in March and April.

These potential launch periods are dependent on orbital mechanics and the relative position of the Earth with respect to the Moon. The mission duration is expected to be four to six weeks.

NASA will also deploy small satellites, known as CubeSats, to perform experiments and technology demonstrations.

NASA achieved a major milestone when it stacked the Orion crew capsule atop its Space Launch System megarocket.

Artemis 2 is then scheduled for 2023 and Artemis 3 for the following year, when humans will walk on the Moon for the first time since 1972. Both missions are now likely to be pushed back, however.

NASA says the moonwalkers will include the first woman and first person of color to make the trip.

The is seeking to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon as well as use the lessons it learns to plan a crewed trip to Mars in the 2030s.

Selfies with the Moon

Orion first flew into in 2014, launched by a Delta IV rocket, making two circumnavigations of Earth and testing its heat shield on re-entry into the atmosphere.

But this time, NASA’s Sarafin said, the capsule will travel much faster and the temperature will be much higher when it returns from the Moon.

Artemis 1 has several objectives: to demonstrate Orion’s ability to return from the Moon and operate in where it is “much colder than in low Earth orbit,” and to successfully recover the spacecraft, he added.

The mission also plans to study radiation and take selfies of the capsule with the Moon in the background.



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US targeting Feb. 2022 to launch new lunar program Artemis (2021, October 23)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove NASA targeting Feb. 2022 to launch new lunar program Artemis

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A NASA employee holds the official Artemis mission patch at NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

NASA said Friday it is now targeting February 2022 for the uncrewed lunar mission Artemis 1, the first step in America’s plan to return humans to the Moon later this decade.

The had initially wanted to launch the by the end of this year, with astronauts on the ground by 2024 on Artemis 3, but the timeline has slipped back.

It achieved a major milestone Wednesday when it stacked the Orion crew capsule atop its Space Launch System megarocket, which now stands 322 feet (98 meters) tall inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After further tests, it will be wheeled out to the for a final test known as the “wet dress rehearsal” in January, with the first window for launch opening in February, officials told reporters on a call.

“The February launch period opens on the 12th and our last opportunity in February is on the 27th,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis 1 manager.

The next windows are in March and then April.

These potential launch periods are dependent on orbital mechanics and the relative position of the Earth with respect to its .

The mission duration is expected to be four to six weeks.

It will also deploy a number of small satellites, known as CubeSats, to perform experiments and technology demonstrations.

Although likely to be pushed back, Artemis 2 is technically scheduled for 2023 and Artemis 3 for 2024, humanity’s return to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

NASA says the moonwalkers will include the first woman and first person of color to make the trip.

The agency is seeking to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon, and use the lessons it learns to plan a crewed trip to Mars in the 2030s.



© 2021 AFP

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NASA targeting Feb. 2022 to launch new lunar program Artemis (2021, October 22)
retrieved 23 October 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-nasa-feb-lunar-artemis.html

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