NASA’s Artemis 1 Moon Mission – Explained

  • NASA’s Artemis missions will send the first woman and person of color to the Moon, allowing them to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before.
  • SLS and Orion will launch from NASA’s spaceport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida’s Launch Complex 39B.
  • It is the first flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) super heavy-lift launch vehicle and the first flight of the Orion MPCV.

As part of the Artemis mission, NASA plans to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon’s south pole by 2025. This ongoing space project is the first crewed Moon mission for the US space agency since Apollo 17 in 1972. NASA plans to undertake a future crewed trip to Mars using the technology and science developed during the Artemis spaceflights. The ambitious NASA ‘Moon to Mars’ plan entails the construction of a new lunar space station and, eventually, a habitable Moon colony.

On May 14, 2019, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed that the new program will be called Artemis, after the Greek goddess of the Moon and Apollo’s twin sister. Meanwhile, Orion is the name of the crewed spaceship. Orion is one of the most well-recognized constellations in the sky, and in Greek mythology, he is Artemis’ hunting companion.

What should be marked is that with Artemis, NASA is seeking to fly to the Moon ‘and remain there,’ rather than just repeating the exploits of the Apollo missions.

This program will be carried out in three stages, with Artemis 1, Artemis 2, and Artemis 3 being included in the mission timetable.

And we have Artemis 1 to look forward to before the actual human landing happens.

This uncrewed mission, formerly known as Exploration Mission-1, is a comprehensive test of the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion module.

The SLS will launch from pad 39B at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, and the Orion module will separate and proceed to the Moon once in orbit. It will go 62 miles above the lunar surface before continuing on to a distance of 40,000 miles beyond the Moon. NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the European Service Model (ESM), and NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS)—the world’s most powerful rocket—will all fly to the Moon during this flight test mission.

After a journey of 20-25 days, the Orion capsule will splash down In Baja, California after dumping the ESM.

The mission, formerly known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), will qualify the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System launch vehicle for crewed missions, commencing with Artemis 2, the Orion and Space Launch System’s second flight test.

Artemis-2 will be a follow-up to Artemis-1, with four astronauts aboard to test Orion’s life support systems. The 10-day mission will start with a launch and two Earth orbits before transitioning into a highly elliptical orbit.

Four people on board the Orion module will dock with the Lunar Gateway and stay in orbit for 30 days, building on the Artemis 2 mission. The human landing system will then transport two men to the Moon’s the South Pole, an area that humans have never visited before.

Artemis missions 1 through 3 are presently the center of NASA’s interest. If these flights are successful, NASA plans to launch more crewed missions on a yearly basis.


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