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What's Going on with the Artemis 1 Mission?

The Artemis 1 Mission marks a pivotal leap for lunar exploration, aiming to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon. This uncrewed test flight sets the stage for future astronauts to tread where few have ventured. As we stand on the brink of a new era in space travel, what wonders await humanity's return to the lunar surface? Join us on this celestial journey.
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman

Artemis, NASA's new lunar spaceflight program, will put humans back on the Moon for the first time in over 50 years. If everything goes to plan, the groundbreaking Artemis missions will occupy a place in the history books just like the Apollo program of the late 1960s and early 1970s that first put mankind on the lunar surface. Fittingly, considering that one objective is to have a woman and a person of color among the new generation of lunar explorers, the Artemis program is named after Artemis, the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo.

The ambitious plan is for humans to set foot on the Moon again as soon as 2025 and establish a long-term presence on Earth's natural satellite, including a space station and a base camp. Before that can happen, though, there's a lot to accomplish. Artemis 1, a 42-day mission to test the Orion spacecraft by sending it on a 1.3-million-mile journey to the far side of the Moon and back, was supposed to launch on Monday morning. It had to be postponed due to a temperature issue in one of the core-stage engines – much to the chagrin of the thousands of people who had traveled to witness the historic launch. The gigantic Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is still sitting on the launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as NASA hopes to get the launch underway within the next week.

Counting down to Artemis:

  • The Orion spacecraft will be sent into space by the SLS, the most powerful rocket in history, which stands 32 stories tall and will launch with 8.8 million pounds of thrust.

  • Although Artemis 1 is an unmanned mission, the Orion spacecraft will contain three test dummies, including two designed to simulate female anatomy, with the goal of testing the effects of radiation on a woman's body.

  • With a planned 2024 launch, Artemis 2 will carry a human crew for a lunar flyby. Artemis 3 will land astronauts at one of 13 possible locations, all near the Moon's south pole, where there may be frozen water to discover deep beneath the lunar surface.

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for WiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education. Learn more...
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for WiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education. Learn more...

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    • NASA hopes to launch its Artemis 1 lunar test mission in the next week; Monday's attempt was delayed due to an “engine bleed” issue.
      By: Zhanna Ocheret
      NASA hopes to launch its Artemis 1 lunar test mission in the next week; Monday's attempt was delayed due to an “engine bleed” issue.