There is no doubt that one of the most successful NASA collaborations has been the Artemis program, which is an American-led international program in which NASA has joined forces with other countries to bring humans to the moon for the first time in several decades. Working closely with the European Space Agency and those of other nations, NASA has some pretty big plans for the Artemis program in 2022.
What is the Artemis Program?
The Artemis program dates back to 2009, when the U.S. space program was first transformed as an initiative to revitalize it by NASA. Artemis was one of the most ambitious and highly anticipated programs to be developed as part of this revitalization process, and began in 2017. Its name comes from the mythological sister of Apollo, paying an obvious tribute to the first successful launch of humans onto the atmosphere of the moon half a century ago.
The program relies on a series of Space Launch System missions, with a busy schedule for the next few years. The ultimate goal is to land humans on the moon in 2025, and will see the first woman and person of color on the moon. As several decades have gone by since the first moon landing, it goes without saying that the mission will be far more advanced than the first one, with new technology allowing for more detailed observations and recordings of the moon’s surface.
But, that’s not all. The program will be using this moon landing partially as a test, as the goal further down the road is to land humans on Mars, should the moon mission go as planned.
The Artemis program has been one of international diplomacy, while simultaneously establishing the United States as a leader in space exploration, particularly revolving around both the moon and Mars. There’s currently an open contract that allows other nations to join in should they so choose, and it’s been that way since October 2020 when the program first expanded.
The Artemis program relies on the Space Launch System to make the missions a success. This new rocket, developed by NASA, will bring astronauts to Orion, and from there, they will be on their way to the moon.
The First Artemis Moon Mission in 2022
The very first mission will take place in 2022 and is planned to be the first of many taking place over the next decade. But, this first mission will be trading in human astronauts for instruments that can record information about the moon instead. This will give the partnership more information that will enable a smooth carrying out of the end goal in 2025.
The first mission will involve flying around the moon to test the latest exploration systems and accommodating technology. It will involve the Artemis I, an unscrewed flight, to test both the SLS and Orion, and will shortly be followed up with the Artemis II, which will be a crewed mission testing the same spacecraft.
The more specific goals of the first mission of 2022 will be to identify water sources and other resources that enable more long-term exploration, while using newly recorded data to learn more about our own planet, in relation to the moon’s influence. It will also offer insight into how humankind can function on a non-Earth celestial body, in terms of being able to adjust to a new atmosphere and new resources critical to human life.The Artemis I launch will take place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated launches of the 21st century thus far. It’s set to take place on Saturday, February 12th.