Finally, next Monday, August 29, he will take his first steps on Artemis program, where humans will return to the Moon. It’s not long before astronauts can be seen walking on Earth’s satellite.
this will be a unmanned test, to verify that the ship can reach its destination without any problem. But at least it’s a much-needed kickoff, bringing the long-awaited second part of this space race that much closer.
In 1969, when Apollo 11 first landed on the moon, preliminary tests were carried out. The truth, however, is that the first men there were not sure what they would find. You just have to see the nonconformity that Neil Armstrong showed when he got off the spaceship.
But now things are very different. In addition to the other Apollo missions, which continued to send humans to the Moon until 1972, many unmanned missions were carried out to explore the terrain. Lunar dust has been analyzed, the best landing places have been studied, the best ways to communicate with the Earth, etc.
This time it will be different because, in addition, the Artemis program does not only intend to carry out a small expedition like those of the Apollo missions. The goal is to build a lunar base and for that it is important to study the situation thoroughly.
The partners of the Artemis Program and its objective
Although the space race is sometimes seen as a competition to see which country reaches milestones first, more has been shown than best results come from the cooperation between different space agencies.
Therefore, to return humans to the Moon, they signed a series of agreements in which some of these agencies participate. Participating in the Artemis program are the POT and the European Space Agencies (ESA), Japan (JAXA), Canada (CSA), Mexico (AEM), Brazil (AEB) and Australia (ASA).
Everyone’s goal is to return humans to the Moon, especially its south pole. It is important to emphasize that it will take “the humans”. That of taking man to the Moon is outdated, since it is expected that The next person to walk on the moon will be a woman.
The crew will also carry men, but the role of Neil Armstrong is now expected to be taken by a female astronaut. It is not yet known who they will be. In 2020, NASA presented a group of recently graduated astronauts, made up of 6 women and 7 men. The lucky ones could get out of there, but we will have to wait to know for sure.
The vehicles and technology for Artemis to reach the Moon
To send astronauts to the Moon, the Artemis program relied on a Space Launch System (SLS) much more powerful than the Saturn V rockets that carried out the Apollo missions. In fact, you will win a 15% more thrust.
At 98 meters high, it comes in four versions: Block 1, 1B, 2 and 2B. Each one is more powerful than the previous one, with a thrust capacity of 70 and 97.5 tons for Block 1 and 1B; and 143 tons for the Type 2 Block. In short, these are the most powerful rockets created to date.
The ship that will be launched this Monday will be block 1. And with it will be the Oriona ship developed in cooperation with ESA that will also be responsible for sending humans to the Moon.
No more vehicles will participate in this first test, since it will only reach lunar orbit. Once there, it will orbit the Moon for six days. and then he will return home.
When the first crewed flight is made, on the other hand, the Gateway Lunar Orbital Platform. This is a lunar orbiter that Orion will dock with once it reaches its destination around our satellite.
It will consist of several modules, which will begin to be put into place in 2024, with the help of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy.
Thus, the Artemis astronauts would already be in orbit of the Moon. But the moon landing is yet to come. And for this they will have a lander for which several projects have been presented, such as the Advanced Exploration Lander and the Human Landing System.
However, it will eventually be Modified version of the Starship SpaceX the one that will carry out the sending of astronauts.