NASA’s upcoming Artemis mission will bring the Moon back into focus as we attempt to learn more about what it takes to become a multi-planetary species. Artemis won’t just be an Apollo re-run, but rather it will be an entirely new and ambitious mission aimed at better understanding the dynamics of the Moon and deep space overall.
While Apollo astronauts spent just hours or days on the lunar surface, Artemis astronauts will potentially spend weeks there, searching the lunar surface for important resources and conducting modern scientific experiments. Both a man and a woman will travel to the Moon on one of NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System (SLS) rockets.
But the astronauts won’t simply land on the lunar surface as they did during the Apollo missions; instead, they’ll hitch a ride to a Moon-orbiting space station that NASA wants to call the “Lunar Gateway.” From here, a lunar lander could dispatch astronauts to the lunar surface as needed, and they could then return to the Gateway when their mission is up.
While Artemis will deal solely with the Moon, what we learn from it could push humankind much further into deep space, such as Mars. That said, exciting times are just ahead.