NASA details Artemis program plan to land on the Moon in 2024

James Marshall
September 24, 2020

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the full $28 billion is needed for the Artemis moon program, created to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.

"With bipartisan support from Congress, our 21st century push to the Moon is well within America's reach", Bridenstine said in a statement.

The US space organisation's Artemis program is part of a challenge to accelerate exploration plans by more than four years and establish sustainable exploration by the end of the decade. We're going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new a generation of explorers.

NASA has just made public its new lunar exploration program overview, which serves as a bird's-eye survey of both past and upcoming Artemis milestones, as well as the program's role as an early stepping stone to Mars. After launching on SLS, astronauts will travel about 240,000 miles to lunar orbit aboard Orion, at which point they will directly board one of the new commercial human landing systems, or dock to the Gateway to inspect it and gather supplies before boarding the landing system for their expedition to the surface.

The lunar lander is being developed by three different projects including Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin in partnership with Lockheed Martin and other firms. "No woman has ever walked on the lunar surface".

The NASA logo on a protective box for a camera near the space shuttle Endeavour April 28, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The second phase of the mission to the moon, "Artemis-2" will take off in 2023 and will be a manned mission that will not land on the moon but will take the astronauts around it. This mission should give the crew an opportunity to manually pilot Orion, in a demonstration to assess the spacecraft's "handling qualities and related hardware and software" which "cannot be readily gained on the ground in preparation for rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking, as well as undocking operations in lunar orbit beginning on Artemis III", according to NASA.

NASA is also monitoring activities happening in the gas giant Jupiter and its moons.

NASA's new and powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft are getting closer and closer to their dual launch date. NASA's Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969.

Nasa has provided $967m (£763m) to several companies to work on designs for the landing vehicle that will take them there. Once at the southern polar regions, the Artemis astronauts would attempt to collect water ice, which the Apollo crews were unable to do at their locations.

The US space agency wants a man and a woman to follow in the footsteps of lunar pioneer Neil Armstrong.

While the mission will be about a return to the moon something else stood out for being the first in history - NASA sending the first woman to land on the moon.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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