NASA plans to have astronauts work and live on the Moon for up to two months within a decade.
NASA’s Artemis rocket ship Set off This week’s trip to the moon, 50 years after the last Apollo mission to the moon, sent the next generation of space capsules to the moon, orbited it and back.
NASA’s long-delayed but much-anticipated launch from Florida finally kicked off Apollo’s follow-up program, Artemis, which aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface within this decade and build a sustainable space there. The base, as a stepping stone for future human exploration of Mars.
Now NASA says the program is effectively a stepping stone to sending ordinary astronauts to the Moon — and could even allow them to stay longer.
It plans to build what it calls the Artemis Base Camp, which will have “modern lunar modules and even mobile homes” where astronauts can stay for up to two months.
“NASA will build momentum for human return missions within four years and plans to send astronauts to the Moon approximately once a year thereafter,” a spokesperson said.
“To give astronauts a place to live and work on the Moon, the agency’s Artemis Base Camp concept includes a modern lunar module, a rover and even a mobile home.
“Early missions will include brief surface stays, but as Base Camp develops, the goal is to keep crews on the lunar surface for up to two months at a time.”
The three-week Artemis I mission, which takes off this week, involves a 25-day Orion flight that brings the capsule within about 60 miles (97 kilometers) of the lunar surface, then about 40,000 miles (64,400 kilometers) beyond the moon and Return to the world.
The capsule is expected to splash down at sea on December 11.
First Moon samples brought back to Earth in over 40 years
Although there were no astronauts on board, the mission was a prelude to returning humans to the moon, more than five years later apollo landing. From 1969 to 1972, 12 astronauts landed on the Moon during six Apollo missions.
After decades of NASA focusing on low Earth orbit alongside the space shuttle and the International Space Station, Artemis I marks a major change in direction for the agency’s post-Apollo human spaceflight program.
Artemis, named after the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt and Apollo’s twin sister, aims to return astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2025, promising to bring the “first woman and first person of color” with her Walk on the moon.
“As the need to land on the moon grows, we’re developing technology to enable unprecedented human and robotic A presence 240,000 miles away from home.
“Our experience on the Moon this decade will prepare us for the greatest adventure in the universe – the human exploration of Mars.”