The Ups And Downs Of Artemis Mission’s Plan
With the first launch of Artemis I on August 29, 2022, Artemis will illuminate our path to the Moon and to Mars. The planet will alter as a result of what we discover along the road, not just space exploration. Take a look at some of the most common queries regarding this next phase of space exploration.
Significance Of Artemis Mission
Human lunar exploration will resume thanks to NASA’s Artemis. To transport men to the Moon and eventually Mars, NASA has developed new technologies like the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, Orion spacecraft, and Exploration Ground Systems.
In addition, the Artemis missions will send a woman and a person of color to the moon for the first time. In order to facilitate more exploration and discovery than ever before, NASA will build durable structures on and around the Moon in cooperation with private sector and international partners.
To Set Foot on Moon for The Second Time
We set foot on the Moon more over 50 years ago. We are now returning. In order to access resources on the Moon, learn more about the universe, and get ready for future deep space missions to Mars, we must explore the lunar surface deeper. In order to assess the extraction of essential resources like water, new devices will be employed.
The crew will also don contemporary spacesuits with enhanced mobility, cutting-edge communications, and reliable life support systems. Living on the Moon will demonstrate human capabilities in deep space as we get ready to travel to Mars. Additionally, operations conducted by humans and robots on the Moon’s surface and in its orbit will further our understanding of the cosmos.
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We now have the means to go to the lunar surface thanks to new technology. To support Artemis missions, Kennedy Space Center has modernized all of its launch infrastructures. The Space Launch System (SLS), the most potent rocket in the world, was created to transport people and cargo to the Moon and beyond. The Orion spacecraft, which will lift off atop the SLS, will transport people to lunar orbit. After that, the crew will transfer to the Gateway, a lunar outpost. With the assistance of the Human Landing System, the crews will then touch down on the lunar surface.
How Was Artemis Named?
The Apollo Program put a man on the moon more than 50 years ago. The Apollo Program was given its name by Dr. Abe Silverstein, a former leader of NASA’s Glenn Research Center, in honor of the Greek Sun God. “The name is suitable for the scale of the Apollo Program,” Silverstein remarked upon seeing a picture of Apollo riding his chariot across the sun.
The first woman and person of color will now be placed on the Moon by NASA during Artemis. The Greek goddess Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister, is the perfect inspiration for the name of this software. The Goddess of the Moon, archery, and other things is Artemis.
The Apollo Program serves as an inspiration for the Artemis mission patch, which shows how Artemis will lead humanity on a new course for lunar and Martian exploration.
Similar to the Apollo programme patch, the letter “A” dominates the Artemis mission patch. The letter “A” also stands for a rocket launch and an arrowhead from Artemis’ quiver. The Earth’s crescent is depicted by the blue arc. The blue arc serves as both a representation of Artemis’ bow and a reminder that Earth is the source of the power and effort that will propel us to the Moon.
The Moon, which Mars uses as a stepping stone, is shown by the gray circle.
The ‘A’s red crossbar depicts our route to Mars. Join us as we celebrate in advance of the launch of Artemis I this summer by attending special events! Your one-stop shop for information on all future events and launch preparations is our Summer of Artemis page. Explorer’s Wanted and to experience the major Apollo Program moments.
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The Announcement Of SpaceX Artemis Mission
In March, Vice President Mike Pence made a startling announcement: the government has given NASA five years to send astronauts back to the moon. This 2024 target was never going to be easy to meet, but for the agency and its partners, it has now turned into a highly improbable scenario.
Pence and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine made a point of highlighting the broad public and commercial sector support for the agency’s new lunar programme, Artemis, at the National Space Council meeting last week. At the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum, Pence told the crowd, “Our moon-to-Mars project is on track, and America is leading in human space exploration again.
What Are The Problems That Might Occur?
The significant problems that hamper the programme and its expectations for 2024 were not mentioned by Pence. While some of these challenges are new, others have existed ever since Donald Trump assumed office. Here are the top five challenges standing in the way of American astronauts visiting the moon in 2024.
Here are some reasons-
The Lack Of Funds
The main issue facing Artemis is money or rather a lack of it. The $22.6 billion request made by the Trump administration at the start of the year for NASA’s 2020 budget now includes an additional $1.6 billion request made just before this summer.
Many analysts think that this funding, even with the increase, won’t be sufficient to speed up Artemis’ schedule. According to John Logsdon, a space policy expert based at George Washington University, “there is a huge gap between the rhetoric surrounding Artemis and the reality of the current situation.”
According to Casey Dreier of the Planetary Society, in order to successfully meet the 2024 deadline, the agency will require an increase of at least $4 to $5 billion each year for the foreseeable future.
The other possibilities are to cut back on other NASA initiatives (the Earth Science initiatives are frequently threatened) and divert funding to Artemis-focused initiatives, or to obtain funding from other federal initiatives like Pell Grant reserves, which aid low-income students in paying for college.
Congress is friendly to NASA but cool to Artemis. The head of the House panel overseeing NASA funding is already dubious about the mission’s objectives.
The good news for Artemis is that it’s unlikely that Congress will sabotage other federal or NASA initiatives. Congress would undoubtedly grant any additional requests for funding made by the White House.
Why Can This Mission Prove Fatal For SpaceX And NASA?
As a result, NASA has consistently come under fire for wasting money on the SLS programme, especially in light of the growing popularity of less expensive launch vehicles. In order to lower launch costs, businesses like SpaceX and Blue Origin have demonstrated that even big load rockets can be reused. SLS would not be reusable, and each launch is expected to cost between $1.5 billion and $5 billion.
A voyage to the moon should only be a little more expensive than a SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch, which costs about $90 million. Although NASA is prepared to take SLS through to completion, Pence has previously said that the White House will seek a commercial partner if NASA’s own technology is unable to achieve its objectives.
(More on NASA and SpaceX stand down on new Dragon cargo launch mission Here)
(More on Will there be a city on Mars by 2050? Here)
How Will Be Astronauts Returning?
Additionally, NASA doesn’t actually have a plan for developing and testing a lunar lander. For one, the agency is looking for business, which makes sense in this situation. For instance, Blue Origin has already announced their Blue Moon lunar lander design with the hopes that NASA will choose to utilize it to return astronauts to the moon in 2024.
However, the private sector hasn’t exactly had the best track record when it comes to developing and testing novel spaceflight systems. It is a hefty ask to ask a commercial corporation to develop and test a lunar lander that must transport astronauts safely in less than five years.
Gerstenmaier is hardly the only well-known person to have lately left NASA. A new “moon to Mars mission directorate” that would have been specifically focused on deep space missions, separate from low Earth orbit exploration, was expected to be led by associate administrator Mark Sirangelo, a prominent member of the aerospace industry who joined NASA this year as an advisor on Artemis planning.
Congress rejected the proposal, and Sirangelo soon left NASA. Who exactly is in charge of Artemis now that Gerstenmaier and Sirangelo have left? According to Logsdon, “A leader is obviously required—there needs to be a focal point to step in and take charge.”
Essentially creating an American space-industrial complex during the Apollo period, he thinks the current turmoil is a sign of NASA’s attempt to move away from that model and toward a “distributed structure between government and private sector activity focused on attaining a common goal.” Nobody has been able to make a smooth shift like that so far, as far as we can tell.
According to Logsdon, “A leader is obviously required-there needs to be a focal point to step in and take charge.” Essentially creating an American space-industrial complex during the Apollo period, he thinks the current turmoil is a sign of NASA’s attempt to move away from that model and toward a “distributed structure between government and private sector activity focused on attaining a common goal.” Nobody has been able to make a smooth shift like that so far, as far as we can tell.
The Objectives Of Mission Mars
A 2024 mission is designed to accomplish what exactly? We don’t fully understand the purpose of the 2024 mission, which is the main source of our irritation with it. The mission “will look a hell of a lot like Apollo,” according to Logsdon, is what we currently know.
The South Pole, where there is probably a sizable store of water ice, is being explored by at least two people. At least one of them will be a woman for a brief length of time. Its basic goal, according to Logsdon, is to occur.
How Can Artemis Be Conducted If the Gateway Programme Is Incomplete
Gateway and a lunar lander are just getting underway. A new lunar orbiting space station dubbed Gateway is a crucial component of the Artemis programme. In this space station, astronauts would orbit the moon before landing on its surface. The Gateway may theoretically be used to travel further out to places like Mars.
Although the first contract to construct the habitation module for Gateway was given out in May, don’t count on it being a functional space station any time soon. By 2024, it will at most be a basic space station from which astronauts may send a lander module to the moon’s surface. Buzz Aldrin, an astronaut from Apollo 11, and former NASA administrator Michael Griffin are two who have questioned the utility of Gateway.
The two most crucial components of NASA’s deep space ambitions—the Orion crew capsule and the Space Launch System, which is tipped to be the most potent rocket in history—have also been clouded by whiplash expectations about SLS and Orion budget concerns. Orion was expected to launch in 2017 when SLS was first announced in 2010, but that didn’t happen.
Both elements had delays in development, and the first Orion mission, now known as Artemis 1, is now anticipated to take place in 2021. These delays led NASA to consider reducing the SLS budget and looking to a private business, such as SpaceX or Blue Origin, to provide a rocket for Artemis 1, but it later changed its mind and reaffirmed its commitment to SLS.
However, it is stated that our trip to the moon is a stopover before continuing on to Mars. It is still unclear how 2024 fits within this idea. Which infrastructure are we putting in place prior to landing? What duties will the astronauts carry out on this mission? How long will they be there? How will a mission like this assist us in establishing a long-term presence on the moon? Are we building the foundation for a lunar colony? What will the Artemis mission look like after this one? None of these questions have a solution as of yet.
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