Everything You Need to Know About NASA's Artemis 2
Since time immemorial, the yearning to reach the moon has captivated humanity's imagination. Men and women have gazed at the celestial body, wondering what secrets lie within its ethereal glow. Additionally, this celestial neighbor has inspired countless tales, myths, and scientific endeavors. NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has been at the forefront of turning this age-old dream into reality. With the iconic Apollo missions, they achieved what was once thought impossible, humans setting foot on the lunar surface. Now, fueled by the same spirit of exploration, NASA is embarking on the ambitious Artemis 2 program, driven by the aim to once again journey to the moon, pushing the boundaries of human achievement and scientific understanding.
What is Artemis 2?
The Artemis 2 program represents NASA's ambitious initiative to return humans to the Moon and establish a sustainable lunar presence. Building upon the legacy of the Apollo missions, Artemis 2 aims to carry a crew of astronauts beyond Earth's orbit to orbit the Moon. The mission serves as a critical stepping stone, testing the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket's capabilities for future lunar endeavors. It will provide valuable data on long-duration spaceflight, lunar navigation, and crew safety in deep space. Additionally, Artemis 2 will enable astronauts to conduct scientific investigations and gather valuable lunar reconnaissance data. Ultimately, the program's overarching goal is to pave the way for subsequent missions, including Artemis 3, which will see astronauts land on the lunar surface and set foot on the Moon again.
How Will the Astronauts Get to the Moon?
The Artemis 2 mission will use the Orion CM-003 spacecraft to travel to the Moon. The Orion spacecraft is a crew capsule designed to carry astronauts to deep space destinations. It is equipped with various systems allowing astronauts to survive and thrive in space, including life support, propulsion, and communications systems. The spacecraft will be launched by the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA. Once the Orion spacecraft is in orbit around Earth, it will use its propulsion system to travel to the Moon.
The journey to the Moon will take about three weeks. Once the Orion spacecraft arrives at the Moon, it will orbit the Moon for about a week. During its time in orbit around the Moon, the astronauts will conduct a variety of scientific experiments and collect data. They will also perform spacewalks to explore the Moon's surface. After a week in orbit around the Moon, the Orion spacecraft will use its propulsion system to return to Earth. The journey back to Earth will take about two weeks. Once the Orion spacecraft arrives back at Earth, it will splash down in the Pacific Ocean.
Which Astronauts Will Be Involved?
The Artemis 2 mission will involve a select group of four highly trained astronauts who will journey beyond Earth's orbit to the Moon. These astronauts undergo rigorous training in various aspects of spaceflight, including extravehicular activities, navigation, and scientific experimentation. The selected astronauts will play a vital role in operating the Orion spacecraft, conducting experiments, and gathering crucial data to advance our understanding of lunar exploration and pave the way for future human missions to the Moon and beyond.
Reid Wiseman (Commander)
Reid Wiseman will serve as the commander of the Artemis 2 mission. In this role, he will be responsible for the overall safety and success of the mission. He will lead the crew, make decisions, and ensure the mission is executed according to plan. He has an impressive educational background, holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Systems Engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science degree in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. In 2009, Wiseman's exceptional abilities led to his selection as a NASA astronaut. His momentous journey took place in 2014 as part of Expedition 41, when he embarked on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Victor Glover (Pilot)
Victor Glover will be responsible for flying the Orion spacecraft. He will also operate the spacecraft's systems and ensure the crew's safety. With a Bachelor of Science degree in General engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, as well as a Master of Science degree in flight test engineering from Air Air University, Glover's educational background speaks to his exceptional expertise. In addition to his flying duties, Glover will also conduct scientific experiments and collect data during the mission. He will also be responsible for communicating with the ground control team and providing updates on the status of the mission.
Christina Koch (Mission Specialist 1)
Koch is a NASA astronaut who has flown on two spaceflights. She has spent 328 days in space, the longest single spaceflight by a woman. She is also the first woman to perform an all-female spacewalk. She graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in electrical engineering and physics. After college, she worked as an electrical engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In 2013, she was selected as a NASA astronaut. On the Artemis 2 mission, Koch will serve as Mission Specialist 1. In this role, she will conduct scientific experiments, operate the spacecraft's systems, and ensure the crew's safety.
Jeremy Hansen (Mission Specialist 2)
Hansen is a Canadian astronaut selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in 2009. He has not yet flown in space but has extensive experience in various fields, including science, engineering, and flying. He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a degree in space science in 1999. He also completed a Master's of Science in Physics from the same college in 2000. After college, he worked as a fighter pilot in the Canadian Air Force. On the Artemis 2 mission, Hansen will serve as Mission Specialist 2. In this role, he will also be responsible for conducting scientific experiments, operating the spacecraft's systems, and ensuring the crew's safety.