The last time mankind set foot on the surface of the moon was a long time ago. Specifically, NASA’s Apollo 17 mission was the last manned moon landing. A crew of three astronauts spent three days on the surface of the moon, taking lunar samples and walking on the lunar surface. They landed successfully back on earth on December 19, 1972. The flight occurred three years after the first human visit to the moon on Apollo 11 in 1969.
Since then, mankind has avoided the Moon, sending only robotic missions to explore its surface.
Mankind has wondered for decades why new missions have not taken place. Some see funding as the biggest issue, while others argue that having already landed on the moon, we should look to land on other planets and other moons in the solar system.
However, if we are to explore the solar system and travel beyond the moon, we need to go back to the lunar surface.
Building permanent colonies on the lunar surface should be a primary goal for mankind. In order to get to Mars, we need to go back to the moon first.
NASA seems to have understood that part, and their new mission to the moon—Artemis—will be the first step to land a human on another planet.
We are going to the Moon to prepare for Mars.
Artemis: Landing on the moon
NASA is committed to land American astronauts on the moon, and their next mission will aim to land the first woman and next man on the moon as soon as 2024.
The next lunar landing program is called Artemis, and it is poised to use innovative, futuristic technologies to explore the surface of the moon like never before.
Artemis will see NASA collaborate with international partners hoping to establish sustainable lunar missions by 2028.
From what NASA learns during the Artemis missions, they hope to be able to take the next giant leap for mankind and send astronauts to the surface of the red planet.
Our calling is to go farther into the solar system than ever before. To prepare for Mars, we must study and prove new human deep space capabilities on our Moon.
Developing new technologies, new rockets, and new propulsion systems is of top priority to NASA. Luckily, scientists have already developed a next-gen rocket—the Space Launch System—which will aim to send astronauts about the Orion spacecraft a quarter-million miles from Earth to lunar orbit.
The plan, although elaborate, is simple: astronauts will dock the Orion craft at the Gateway transferring to a human landing system for the lunar surface expedition. Eventually, the astronauts will return to the orbital outpost using Orion again, before safely returning to Earth.
Before mankind will set foot on the moon in a historical return to the lunar surface, NASA will send a plethora of science instruments and technologies to the lunar surface. To do so, NASA aims to make use of commercial Moon deliveries beginning in 2021.
Prior to allowing astronauts to set foot on the moon, the American Space Agency will have two lunar missions fly in orbit around the moon, allowing them to test the deep space exploration system.
The first mission will be Artemis I, an uncrewed mission that will test out the SLS and Orion Spacecraft. During the Artemis I mission, NASA will send an Orion spacecraft on a mission of 25.5 days, 6 of those days in a retrograde orbit around the Moon.
Artemis I will be followed by the Artemis II mission, the first SLS and Orion test flight expected to carry a crew.
NASA is expected to send astronauts to the moon by 2024 on the Artemis III mission, and a new crew is expected to set foot on the moon once a year.
Once having landed successfully on the surface of the moon, the astronauts will explore the entire surface with both human and robotic explorers.
NASA aims to send astronauts to new locations, and the new Artemis mission is expected to see astronauts land on the lunar South pole.
There, astronauts will look for water and other critical resources that will help establish a long-term exploration of the moon.
Astronauts will be further tasked with investigating some mysteries our Moon offers, hoping to answer how the moon formed, what’s inside, and how old it really is.
The new lunar landing will see astronauts live and operate on the surface of another celestial body. This is expected to serve as an excellent training that will eventually facilitate how astronauts will function on other planets, such as Mars.
Landing on the moon is of great importance. The Artemis missions are expected to pave the way for a human landing on Mars. Whilst on the moon, astronauts will test out new technologies and systems that will eventually be used on missions to Mars and beyond.
The Artemis mission sees NASA continue using Greek mythology in their historical exploration of space.
The Artemis missions are deeply connected with Apollo. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and the goddess of the Moon. Artemis personifies NASA’s new, daring journey to the Moon.