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Lunar Base Dreams: Building a Sustainable Future on the Moon

Even before the completion of America’s Apollo-11 lunar mission, NASA always had plans to set up a permanent, sustainable home on the moon. They planned on using the natural cavities embedded within the moon to form pseudo-lunar tubes that could sustain lunar scientists. Decades later, this dream is now a reality.

What is the Artemis Program (I)?

The Artemis program refers to the plans drafted by the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration to set up a permanent place, like a motel, for lunar researchers. This program existed in 2013 but was signed by Trump in 2017. 

Courtesy: EarthSky

The program cost almost one trillion dollars. Yes, you read right, trillion! Most of this money will go into purchasing, maintaining, and repairing spacecraft like the Starship, Falcon Heavy, and Space Launch System.

Will NASA Take on This Alone?

Unlike past space and lunar missions that are often competitive, the Artemis Program is quite the opposite. To ensure this mission succeeded, even America’s foes joined them. But you will never guess how many other organizations (or countries) partnered with NASA. 

These countries include the European Space Agency (ESA), the Israel Space Agency (ISA), the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). 

What is the Artemis Program II?

The second part of the Artemis program is scheduled to happen in November 2024. This segment will be the first crewed mission to launch four astronauts (three men and one woman) into space in the Space Launch System (SLS). 

Courtesy: NASA

Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Jeremy Hansen, and Christina Koch will fly to the moon, move beyond low Earth orbit, and return to Earth. The team will take off at the Kennedy Space Center, LC-39B, and will land in the Pacific Ocean. 

What is the Artemis Program III?

The Artemis program is broken down into multiple stages for easy accomplishment, and the third pivotal stage is unlike others. It is scheduled to happen in 2025 and will also be the first crewed lunar landing of the mission. If things work out as planned, we may have another “Apollo 17”. 

Courtesy: Wikipedia

The mission will use Orion 004 and the Starship HLS, taking 30 days. Two astronauts will remain in the Orion while only two will drop on the moon’s surface for a week. After the successful landing, the entire team will find their way home to proceed to the next plan. 

There is also Artemis Program IV

The Artemis Program IV is the fourth part of the mission and will be the second lunar landing of the program. If all goes as planned, this mission will oversee the launching of four astronauts on a Space Launch System rocket, as well as the deployment of the Orion 004 to the lunar gateway.

Courtesy: Wikipedia 

Overall, the Artemis program is a revolutionary mission that will change lunar landings for generations. Each program’s success will pave the way for lunar research as well as play a major role in the commercialization of lunar landings for private and personal use.

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