Revisiting the Moon


Courtesy of NASA/ Wikimedia Commons

    NASA is planning to send the first woman and the next male to the moon through a project called the Artemis Program. This project will bring astronauts to the moon so they can have more travels and discoveries. According to News and Sentinel, NASA joined Constellium and will be the supplier for the spacecraft and rocket’s structural materials. In wtap, it says that one of the main reasons why NASA chose to join Constellium was because the “company’s material was simply superior to anything else that is available in the market. Plus, Constellium has a way to produce very wide and thick plates for spacecraft.” The first goal of the Artemis program is to send the first woman and the next male to the moon by 2024, but the second goal of theirs is to use new technology to further explore the moon.

    It is said in mythology that Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo, which was the most recent project that first landed humans on the moon in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. As stated in The Planetary Society, NASA has been trying to change this ever since 2004 through projects such as Constellation, Journey to Mars, and Moon to Mars. The Artemis program states that they are currently testing the spacecraft and launchpad for this project. After NASA has succeeded with this project, it states, “When Artemis III lands the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024, America will demonstrate a new level of global space leadership. With lunar exploration capability re-established, NASA and the world will be ready to build a sustained presence on the lunar surface in preparation for human exploration of Mars.” The suggested launch dates for the Artemis Project (not permanent yet) consist of Artemis 1 (Uncrewed) being launched in Late 2021, Artemis 2 (Crewed, but no Lunar Landing) being launched between 2022-2023, and Artemis 3 (Lunar Landing) being launched in 2024. 

    Currently, Nasa engineers are analyzing the systems needed for this project. According to SpaceDaily, “NASA will use innovative navigation technologies during the upcoming missions.” Some of the navigation techniques that may be used in this project include radiometrics, optimetrics, and laser altimetry. These techniques have been used since the launch of the first satellite and will measure distance and velocity and engineers will use this to measure the time it will take for radio transmissions to reach a spacecraft (the speed of light). 

    NASA has had several projects that have landed on the moon before, but they are still planning to go back. One of the main reasons would be to have more travels and discoveries happen, but according to Royal Museums Greenwich, astronauts also plan to “stay there” which would mean that they would build bases on the surface of the moon. Although NASA does plan to establish new bases on the surface of the moon at some point, their main goal is to return humans to the moon by 2024. Once NASA succeeds with this project, we will have humans going back to the moon sustainably, and make many travels, discoveries, and even bases.