NASA executed the Apollo 11 crew mission that put the first men on the Moon on July 20, 1969– over 50 years ago. Now it’s time that we went back to the moon to develop more scientific discoveries and economic benefits, and to inspire the next generation of spacefarers and explorers. NASA intends to do just this with the Artemis Program. This new lunar exploration program will not only harness the abilities of new technology to study the Moon in new and exciting ways, but they will also send the first woman and first person of color, which is something that will be immeasurable in inspiring people all across the globe.

The Artemis Program was named after the mythological Greek goddess of the Moon and the twin sister of Apollo, the god of the Sun. The crew spacecraft currently under development goes by the name of Orion, which is one of the most recognizable constellations in the sky. In classic mythology, Orion is known as the hunting companion of Artemis.

Orion Constellation
Orion Constellation

While the Artemis Program echoes aspects of the Apollo missions, Artemis will not only take humans to the moon but discover ways for us to stay there. This involves investigating the possibilities of establishing bases both in lunar orbit and on the Moon’s surface, but the discoveries can go far beyond what we can imagine.

Currently, Artemis 1 is set to launch sometime in late May of 2022 at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The flight will test the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft with no crew. This mission will be followed by Artemis 2, which will fly SLS and Orion with a crew past the moon, then orbit it and return to Earth. This trip will be the farthest any human has been in space. Artemis 3 will then send a crew with the first woman and next man to land on the Moon, where they will search for the Moon’s water and use it, study the Moon to discover uncover more mysteries, learn to live and work on another celestial body, and test technologies needed before sending astronauts on a mission to Mars.

The Artemis Program will clearly be outstanding and revolutionary. By sending humans back to the Moon, we will be able to learn more about all of the celestial bodies in our solar system. Not only this, but we will be able to do tests and perform investigations that will allow us to understand how humans may be able to function and exist on Mars. Many new technologies have been created and will continue to be created to execute all of the program's goals; this will lead to substantial development and scientific discovery on Earth. Moreover, the Artemis Program will not only pave the way for our future on Mars and in space, but it will also set a precedent for other women and people of color hoping to pursue any occupation in STEM, from computer programming to aeronautical engineering.

Some fun Artemis related activities:

Written by Mariah

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