Artemis is considered NASA’s next-generation lunar exploration mission. With the Artemis programme, NASA aims to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. The mission is named after Artemis, the goddess of the moon, who is the twin sister of Apollo from Greek mythology. Artemis I is an uncrewed space mission, which will be the first of NASA’s deep space exploration systems.
NASA’s Artemis programme is important for both the UPSC Civil Services Preliminary and Main examinations.
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Why is NASA Artemis in the news?
On March 17, 2022, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launched its Artemis I moon mission to the launchpad for testing at the Kennedy Space Centre at Cape Canaveral in Florida, United States.
Aim of NASA Artemis
The Artemis programme will help NASA attain the following objectives:
- To land humans on the moon by 2024 and explore more of the lunar surface. With the Artemis mission, NASA will land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon. It will send astronauts to new locations, starting with the Moon’s South Pole, where no human has ever been before.
- To set up a community on the Moon, which will drive a new lunar economy all together.
- To learn more about the origin of Earth, the Moon, and our solar system as a whole. The learnings will be utilised to take the next giant leap, that is, to send the first astronauts to Mars.
- To display new technologies, capabilities, and business approaches needed for future exploration.
- With the Artemis mission, NASA will:
- Find and use water and other important resources needed for long-term exploration
- Learn how to live and operate on the surface of a different celestial body
- Prove the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years roundtrip
Facts About Artemis
Important facts about NASA’s Artemis mission are given below:
- Artemis will be launched on the Space Launch System (SLS), which is the most powerful rocket in the world. The SLS rocket was designed for missions beyond the low-earth orbit (LEO). It can take cargo and crew to the moon and beyond.
- Astronauts will be sent aboard the Orion spacecraft from the Earth to lunar orbit.
- NASA will jointly work with its commercial and international partners to set up the first long-term human-robotic presence on and around the Moon.
- Before the lunar surface landing, two missions will be flown around the moon in order to examine NASA’s deep space exploration systems.
- Artemis I, an uncrewed flight, will be launched to test the SLS and Orion spacecraft.
- Artemis II will be the first SLS and Orion flight test with the crew.
- An Artemis Base Camp on the surface and a gateway in lunar orbit will be set up by NASA. This will help in aiding exploration by robots and astronauts. The gateway is an important component as it will serve as a multipurpose outpost orbiting the moon.
- Other space agencies will also contribute towards the Artemis mission.
- Canadian Space Agency will support by providing advanced robotics for the gateway
- The European Space Agency will provide the International Habitat and the ESPRIT module, which will deliver additional communications capabilities, among other things.
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to provide habitation components and logistics resupply.
- The Orion and Space Launch System (SLS) under Artemis I will be launched from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, U.S. in the summer of 2022.
The Artemis programme will establish American leadership and its strategic presence on the Moon. It will also motivate a new generation of explorers and encourage careers in STEM.
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