NASA's Artemis 2 mission around Moon set for November 2024

NASA officials provided an update on the Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the Moon for the first time since the historic Apollo missions ended in 1972.

| Updated on: Mar 09 2023, 10:15 IST
In Pics: NASA set to return to the Moon with the Artemis 1 Mission
1/5 According to NASA, Artemis I will be the first uncrewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft. The Orion capsule will carry various objects like Snoopy dog toy which will fly as a zero-gravity indicator in the capsule. A new version of Alexa called Callisto created by Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and Cisco will also be aboard the spacecraft. (REUTERS)
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2/5 The Artemis Programme is NASA’s first attempt to send a manned mission to the Moon since the Apollo missions in 1972. Earlier this month, NASA administrator Bill Nelson said, “To all of us that gaze up at the Moon, dreaming of the day humankind returns to the lunar surface, folks, we're here. We are going back.” (REUTERS)
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3/5 The rocket and the Orion spacecraft have already been rolled out onto the launchpad on August 16. Although the rollout was scheduled to happen today on August 18, NASA moved up the plans and rolled out the Orion spacecraft on top of NASA’s brand-new Space Launcher System. (REUTERS)
4/5 When NASA launches the Artemis 1 mission using the Space Launcher System on August 29, the Orion spacecraft, although unmanned, will carry 3 manikins called Zohar, Helga and Campos to space as human stand-ins for various tests and studies. They will be retrofitted with a vast number of sensors to conduct tests regarding the spaceflight. (NASA)
5/5 ason Hutt, NASA lead for Orion Crew Systems Integration said, “It’s critical for us to get data from the Artemis I manikin to ensure all of the newly designed systems, coupled with an energy dampening system that the seats are mounted on, integrate together and provide the protection crew members will need in preparation for our first crewed mission on Artemis II.” (NASA)
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NASA's Artemis program is NASA's attempt to send humans back to the Moon for the first time since the historic Apollo missions ended in 1972. (NASA)

NASA is on track to launch a crewed mission around the Moon in November of next year after a successful unmanned test flight, the US space agency said Tuesday.

NASA officials provided an update on the Artemis program, which aims to return humans to the Moon for the first time since the historic Apollo missions ended in 1972.

The first Artemis mission wrapped up in December with an uncrewed Orion capsule returning safely to Earth after a more than 25-day journey around the Moon.

Artemis 2, scheduled to take place in late November 2024, will take a four-person crew around the Moon but without landing on it.

"We're looking forward to that crew flying on Artemis 2," NASA associate administrator Jim Free told reporters. "Right now there's nothing holding us up based on what we learned on Artemis 1."

NASA is to reveal the members of the Artemis 2 crew later this year. All that is known so far is that one of them will be a Canadian.

Artemis 3, scheduled for about 12 months after Artemis 2, will see astronauts land for the first time on the south pole of the Moon.

"Our plan has always been 12 months, but there are significant developments that have to occur," Free cautioned.

"We're still sticking with that 12 months, but we're always looking at the development of all the hardware that has to come together for that."

Among the items still in development are a lunar lander being built by SpaceX and spacesuits, Free said.

NASA hopes to establish a lasting human presence on the Moon and later launch a years-long trip to Mars.

As part of the Artemis missions, NASA is planning to send a woman and a person of color to the Moon for the first time.

Only 12 people -- all of them white men -- have set foot on the Moon.

During the trip around Earth's orbiting satellite and back, Orion logged well over a million miles and went farther from Earth than any previous habitable spacecraft.

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First Published Date: 09 Mar, 10:10 IST