Astronauts around the Moon in November 2024
A Canadian astronaut will be part of the mission Artemis 2 which is expected to circle the Moon in 2024.
The Artemis 2 space mission, which is to take a crew of astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972 , is scheduled for November 2024, NASA announced Tuesday.
This timeline is set by the successful completion of the Artemis 2 mission, which concluded in December, after just over 25 days in space. The Orion spacecraft, which had no one on board for this first test flight, had been powered by the new SLS rocket (the most powerful in the world), and had successfully placed in orbit around the Moon, before return to Earth.
Detailed analysis of that mission is continuing, NASA associate administrator Jim Free told a news conference. But the first feedback should allow a takeoff of the second Artemis mission towards the end of November 2024, he said. In more than a year and a half.
NASA must announce this year the four lucky ones who will form the crew of Artemis 2. We know only that a Canadian will be part of it. They will go around the Moon – without landing – during a ten-day mission.
Then comes Artemis 3, which must land astronauts on the lunar surface. It's officially still scheduled for 2025, although that timeline is highly uncertain.
We've still scheduled approximately 12 months between Artemis 2 and Artemis 3, Jim Free repeated Tuesday . But he immediately pointed out that the third mission will be linked to the finalization of many indispensable elements, which are currently in development.
We need a lander, and we will need to have our space suits for lunar surface exploration, Mr. Free said.
The lander will be a version of SpaceX's Starship, but whose first orbital flight has yet to take place. Spacesuits are developed by the company Axiom Space.
The Artemis program is to send the first woman and the first person of color to the Moon, when the program Apollo had taken 12 men there, all white.
Artemis, in Greek mythology, is the twin sister of Apollo (Apollo in English) and a goddess associated with the Moon .
NASA's goal is to establish a lasting presence on the Moon, with the construction of a base on its surface and a station orbiting around it.
Learning to live on the Moon should allow testing all the technologies necessary for a journey of even greater complexity: a one-crew round-trip mission to Mars.