Do you support a return to the moon, or is it "lunacy"?
Last year, NASA announced plans to return to the moon with a mission named Artemis.
Our #Moon2024 mission is being named after Artemis, who was a sister to Apollo and goddess of the Moon. We're excited to be landing the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024. pic.twitter.com/ri0MnoZN0k— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) May 13, 2019
Now, following successes in both hardware testing and contracting, NASA has published an overview of the Artemis mission—including the Phase 1 plans to put people back on the moon for the first time since 1972.
In brief, the plan for the next few years looks like this:
- Artemis I, 2021: Launch an unmanned test flight that combines the Space Launch System rocket with the Orion Spacecraft.
- Artemis II, 2023: Launch Orion with astronauts aboard to test the navigation.
- Artemis II, 2024: Send 'em to the moon!
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine describes the purpose of the Artemis missions.
“As we’ve solidified more of our exploration plans in recent months, we’ve continued to refine our budget and architecture. We’re going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new a generation of explorers. As we build up a sustainable presence, we’re also building momentum toward those first human steps on the Red Planet.”
A major goal for space exploration in the Artemis Generation is to set up some kind of permanent "moonbase" to facilitate exploration of the moon and springboard voyages to farther-flung places like Mars.
Bridenstine lends lofty words to the Artemis mission in the foreword to the new plan:
"Pushing the boundaries of space exploration, science, and technology once again, America is on the verge of exploring more of the Moon than ever before. This new era of lunar exploration is called Artemis. Named after the twin sister of Apollo, she is the Goddess of the Moon, and we are the Artemis Generation."
"I am proud to share NASA’s Artemis Plan—this is how we will go to the Moon once again. And how we will use the Moon as the stepping stone for our next greatest leap—human exploration of Mars. We are going, and we go together. Ad lunam!"
What are your feelings about space exploration? Do you support a return to the moon, or is it lunacy? Leave a comment!