NASA’s ambitious Artemis Moon mission plans
July 12, 2019 -- Half a century after NASA sent men to the moon under project "Apollo," the space agency is now working to land men and women on the lunar surface as part of its ambitious "Artemis" programme.
On December 11, 2017, U.S. President Trump issued Space Policy Directive-1, which tasked NASA to create a programme of exploration that could send astronauts back to the Moon.
This was followed up in March, 2019, with the President directing NASA to land the first astronauts since the Apollo era on the lunar South Pole by 2024.
The subsequent project is named “Artemis”, after the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology. It utilises a lunar orbital platform dubbed the “Gateway”, which will house four astronauts and allow for landing vehicles to be assembled in space, before being sent to the lunar surface.
The first element of Gateway is due to be launched in 2022, with the ultimate goal of establishing a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028.
It is hoped that the lessons learned and technologies developed for the new Moon missions will allow astronauts to venture further, to Mars and beyond.