Artemis program Overview Updated February 13, 2021

Artemis program

NASA's 21st century plan to return to the moon

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54 'Artemis' stories

February 2020 - February 2021


NASA’s Artemis program is an attempt to land humans on the moon for the first time in almost 50 years. The program is largely the result of Space Policy Directive 1, which tasked NASA with focusing more time on getting back to the moon.

Named after the Greek goddess of the moon, the Artemis program is planned to get a human on the moon by as early as 2024. Artemis I is set to launch in November 2021 with the goal of sending the Orion spacecraft into a retrograde orbit around the moon to test its viability. Artemis II will launch two years later with the same objective, except this time, there will be a crew aboard. Artemis III is set to launch in 2024 and will be the mission that finally puts another human on the moon.

NASA plans on using what they learn from visiting the moon to help take the next giant leap that is visiting Mars.

 

 

 

 

Artemis Stories February 13

A key part of NASA’s Artemis program is Gateway, a lunar outpost 1/6 the size of its cousin the International Space Station. It will be used as the orbital research lab for Earth-faring astronauts destined to explore the lunar surface and possibly as a rest stop for those heading to Mars. The first two modules are planned to launch in 2024 on top of the party pleaser Falcon Heavy rocket.

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Artemis Stories January 21

After the SLS Core Stage hot fire test that aborted just over a minute into the test, it was uncertain what objectives were met and if they would need to do a second test fire. During the second press conference Tuesday afternoon, concerns arose about the Core Stage reaching its cryo-cycling limit before the launch but today NASA shares the Core Stage and Artemis 1 timeline may be in better shape than first thought.

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Artemis Stories January 20

NASA released a statement this week detailing information about some of the findings that contributed to the early shutdown of the Artemis 1 Core Stage during the Green Run Hot Fire test on Saturday. The test was originally supposed to last about 8 minutes, but ended up only lasting 67.2 seconds, far short of the minimum amount of time needed to certify the core.

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Artemis Stories January 18

NASA recently submitted a permit detailing facility construction and modification plans to support its next Mobile Launch Platform for Space Launch System, the agency’s nearly complete rocket to the Moon. We first have to go back to where SLS all started with the Constellation program to understand why NASA is building a new Mobile Launch Platform.

The current Mobile Launcher, ML-1, was initially built for the Constellation program between 2009 and 2010. When the Constellation program was canned in October 2010, NASA started reworking ML-1 to support their new program for the Space Launch System. With the increased complexity and weight of SLS, issues quickly began to arise.

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The other side of the Solid Rocket Booster pictured before has the iconic Worm logo
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NASA invited media to Kennedy Space Center to witness the progress being made with the stacking of the SLS Solid Rocket Motors and to see the Orion Crew Capsule as it is being prepared to be moved to one of the final processing facilities before being stacked later this year.

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NASA is returning astronauts to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo program ended in the 1970s, but first the space agency must develop a new rocket capable of reaching lunar orbit. Space Launch System is that rocket, and it’s been in development for several years.

Over the weekend, NASA’s Stennis Space Center in South Mississippi conducted a critical engine test on the core stage of Space Launch System and its four RS-25 engines. While these engines aren’t new — they actually date back to use on the space shuttle — but being configured on a rocket to the Moon is untested.

The epic engine test wasn’t a total success, however, as the vehicle detected an anomaly and stopped firing its engines well before the required test duration. The good news is NASA says both the rocket core stage and its engines remain in good shape.

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Artemis Stories January 15

Signed on the 45th anniversary of the final crewed mission to the Moon, Space Policy Directive 1 directed NASA to begin a mission to send the next man and first woman to the Moon with a pathway to continue onto the crewed exploration of Mars. Since then, the Artemis program has expanded to include already existing programs as well as new commercialized contracts for new services.

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Artemis Stories January 13

This Saturday NASA and their contractors are planning on conducting the final Green Run test for NASA’s Artemis-1 core stage of the Space Launch System rocket. This will be the only time the stage will be fired for a full 8 minutes before its flight.

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Artemis Stories January 7

Preparations for NASA’s Artemis program are in full swing as the first mission, Artemis I, is set to launch later this year. However, one crucial part of the program that still requires a solution is navigation architecture. With extended stays on the moon, humans and autonomous robots alike would benefit greatly from having a system similar to GPS available.

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Artemis Stories January 6

Good spacesuits are arguably the most crucial aspect of any mission to space that involves humans. Even an uncomfortable spacesuit could impose substantial issues or limitations that you wouldn’t expect. That’s why engineers and designers at NASA have been hard at work designing a next-generation spacesuit called xEMU.

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