The Artemis 2 space mission, which plans to take a crew of astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972, is scheduled for November 2024, the US Space Agency (NASA) announced Tuesday. bottom.
This programming is due to the success of the Artemis 1 mission, which ended in December after spending just over 25 days in space.
Flying unmanned on its first test flight, the Orion capsule was propelled by the world’s most powerful new SLS rocket and put into orbit around the Moon before returning to Earth.
Detailed analysis of the mission continues, NASA deputy administrator Jim Free said at a press conference. However, initial assessments will allow his second mission to take off “for the end of November 2024,” the official added. So a year and a half later.
For the trip, NASA plans to unveil a four-person Artemis 2 crew this year, including Canadians, who will orbit the satellite without landing on a roughly 10-day mission.
“We’re looking for that Artemis 2 crew,” Flea added. “At this point, nothing will stop us after what we learned in Artemis 1.”
Then comes the Artemis 3 mission, scheduled about 12 months after Artemis 2. The mission, which will require astronauts to land at the lunar south pole, is still officially scheduled for 2025, although the schedule is uncertain.
“Our plan was always 12 months, but we need to make significant progress,” Free warned.
“You need a lander,” Flea explained, and for surface exploration, “you need a spacesuit.”
The lander will be a version of SpaceX’s Starship, but has yet to make its first orbital flight. The spacesuit is still under development by Axiom Space.
NASA’s goal is to establish a permanent presence on the Moon by building a satellite orbiting base and space station.
Learning about life on the Moon should allow us to test the skills needed for longer trips, such as the crew’s return trip to Mars.