Artemis Moon Mission by NASA : 

The days of owning passport for space travel isn’t far away.

It’s been half-a-century since man first set his foot on the Moon, now its time to make a path to walk.

NASA is back on its feet to do just that…

‘Artemis’, NASA’s most ambitious mission to the Moon

‘Artemis’ is one of the most curious and revolutionary projects of the 21st Century. NASA is aiming to establish a sustainable human colony on the lunar surface by 2028 to reveal new scientific discoveries and demonstration of new technological advancements with a vision of sending humans to Mars.

Artemis program identity animated gif by Nasa

Artemis Program Identity: Copyright © ‘Image by NASA’

Artemis will be the beginning of a whole new era of space exploration. It’s gonna forge and light a path to Mars. ‘Artemis’ Lunar mission involves NASA teaming up with commercial spaceflight companies and other space agencies to land ‘1st woman ever’ and next man on the Moon by 2024. This will be the first step in a long term goal of sending humans to Mars.

What really is ‘Artemis’?

In Greek mythology, ‘Artemis’ is the daughter of Zeus, Goddess of Moon and also the twin sister of Apollo. With ‘Apollo’, the twin sister, 50 years ago personified the path to the Moon, it’s now time for ‘Artemis’ to take over with even greater ambition in the eyes of mankind.

NASA’s program is to return the humans back to the Moon’s surface, most importantly the ‘1st woman’ ever by 2024. This lunar exploration plan is 2 phased.

  • Landing Astronauts on the Moon in 5 years.
  • A sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028.

Artemis is aimed to :

  • Explore the never before explored region of the Moon, ‘The South Pole.
  • Test the latest technologies that will extend the limit of exploration deep into the solar system and possibly unlock many unsolved mysteries of the Universe.

Artemis mission in detail…

This program will try to land a pair of astronauts (woman and man) on the surface of the Moon by 2024.

  • It’s also a tentative step in a long term goal of sending astronauts and colonizing Mars.
  • It lays a firm foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy in the future.
  • Artemis is a stepping stone to the deep space explorations.

The moon vehicle

Gateway Spaceport:

Artemis has a Lunar Orbital Platform known as the “Gateway” which acts as the Lunar Space Station that will basically become a Space Sanctuary for astronauts who venture not just to the Moon but also to the deep space (Mars).

The completion of this primary Artemis Program has 3 stages…

> Arthemis 1 [Exploration Mission]
Gateway – Power and Propulsion Element [PPS]
> Artemis 2 [Crewed Exploration Mission]
> Artemis 3 [Touching the Moon]

Artemis-1 [Exploration Mission]:

This is the very 1st mission of the humongous project.

  • It’s scheduled to launch in 2022.
  • The mission will be launched from ‘Launch Complex 39B’ at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Interesting Fact: Vice-President Mike Pence unveiled NASA spacecraft for Artemis-1 Lunar Mission on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot, Buzz Aldrin and Rick Armstrong (Son of Neil Armstrong).


In this mission, NASA’s Boeing-led Space Launch System (SLS) will carry Lockheed Martin made ‘Orion’ Spacecraft and Orion’s ‘European Service Module (ESM)’.

Orion spacecraft

  • It will be an uncrewed flight.
  • It’s a total of 26 days mission.

Mission Trajectory:

Step 1: SLS and Orion lift off from pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center.
Step 2: After reaching max altitude, Jettison Rocket Boosters get separated.
Step 3: Jettison Launch Abort System [LAS] and Core Stage gets separated as its no longer needed.
Step 4: Spacecraft enters Earth Orbit.
Step 5: It performs systems check and solar panel adjustments.
Step 6: Trans Lunar Injection [TLI] Burn initiated and lasts for approx 20 minutes.
Step 7: Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage [ICPS] separation after Orion’s TLI.
Step 8: Outbound Transit will be made by several altitude maneuvers.
Step 9: Outbound Trajectory Correction [OTC] burns will be made to adjust the trajectory for Lunar flyby.
Step 10: Outbound Powered Flyby [OPF] will commence within 62 miles from the Moon’s surface.

Step 11: Orbit Insertion by entering Distant Retrograde Orbit for next 6-23 days.
Step 12: Orbit Maintenance burns and solar panel adjustments in about 88,000nmi from the surface of the Moon.
Step 13: Return Power Fly-By [RPF] burn prep and return coast to Earth initiated.
Step 14: Moon Orbit Departure.
Step 15: Return Trajectory Correction [RTC] burns to aim for Earth’s atmosphere.
Step 16: Precision aiming for Earth entry by Final Return Trajectory Correction [RTC] Burn.
Step 17: Entering the Earth’s Atmosphere.
Step 18: Splashdown in the Pacific Ocean and recovery of capsule by the U.S Navy.

Artemis-1 is mainly intended to successfully operate and test the complete hardware and its operations.

  • It will splashdown off Baja, California.

Gateway Spaceport [Power and Propulsion Element]:

The foundation of ‘Deep Space Exploration’ needs a foundation piece to begin first. With the ‘Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS)’ initiative by NASA, it’s preparing to deliver ‘Power and Propulsion Element (PPE)’ into lunar orbit by December 2022.

  • PPE being developed by Maxar Technology under CLPS.
  • It will be the most fundamental piece of ‘Gateway’ Spaceport.
  • It will be the main source of Power, Thrust and Communications.
  • It’ll be the 1st element of the ‘Gateway’, that will be launched to the Lunar Orbit in a Spacecraft itself.
  • This, when placed into orbit, will fly with the latest technology called ‘Solar Electric Propulsion’.
  • This will be a 50-Kilowatt Solar Electric Propulsion Spacecraft with 3 times more powerful than any thrusters to date.
  • This technology will allow astronauts to venture further to Mars.
  • PPE will arrive at NRHO by a commercial rocket within December 2022.

Artemis-2 [Crewed Exploration Mission to Moon]:

Artemis-2 will be the 1st of these lunar missions to have a crew on board.

  • It’s planned to launch in 2023.
  • It has a different trajectory to Artemis-1.
  • The mission will be launched from Launch Complex 39B at ‘Kennedy Space Center’.
  • This Crewed test flight of the ‘Space Launch System (SLS)’ and Orion will originally test Orion’s life support system.
  • It’ll be a 21-day mission with 4 astronauts onboard the ‘Orion’ Spacecraft.
  • Artemis-2 will be a crewed lunar fly-by lunar mission.

Mission Trajectory:

Step 1: Launch of the Spacecraft from pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center.
Step 2: Perigee Raise Maneuver (PRM) to enter Earth orbit (100x1545nml orbit) by Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) initiated.
Step 3: Apogee Raise Burn (ARB) to high Earth Orbit, Orion systems checkout, and ICPS separation.
Step 4: Orion Trans-Lunar Injection (TLI) by the main engine.
Step 5: Spacecraft heads towards the Moon with Outbound Trajectory Correction (OTC) burn for 4 days.
Step 6: Lunar flyby at 4000nmi from the Moon (Astronauts observe the process).
Step 7: Trans-Earth Return Sequence initiated with Return Trajectory Correction (RTC) Burns for 4 days by Orion Aux Engines.
Step 8: Crew Module / Service Module separation while closing to the Earth’s atmosphere.
Step 9: Crew Module enters Earth’s atmosphere, descends and will splashdown in the Pacific Ocean.
Step 10: Crew and Orion capsule recovery by U.S Navy.

Artemis-3 [Touching the Moon]:

This will be the final stage of the 1st level of ‘Artemis’ program.

  • It’s scheduled to launch in 2024.
  • It’s the second crewed mission and will be the 1st crewed lunar landing mission of the 21st Century.
  • The mission will be less than 30 days.
  • This Mission will have a short pit stop in the early stage ‘Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway’, a space station in Lunar orbit. The program is targeted to make the ‘Gateway’ habitable for astronauts by 2024.
  • Astronauts on-board ‘Gateway’ will descend to the lunar south pole in a Lander.

And that D-day will be a milestone in the history of mankind with ‘1st woman’ to ever land on the Moon.

Astronaut on the moon

  • The plan is to set foot where no human has ever ventured before in the site which will have already been explored by previous robotic programs.
  • After successful completion of the mission, a part of the ‘Lander’ will be anchored on the Moon while the astronauts will return back to the ‘Gateway’ in a ‘Return Capsule’, before voyaging back to Earth.
  • The exact “mission trajectory” hasn’t been confirmed by NASA yet.

This will be the end of the ‘Primary Artemis Program’ but the beginning of the whole new era of space exploration and technological advancement.

Half-a-century ago ‘Apollo’ changed the perspective of space exploration. And now its time for his twin sister ‘Artemis’ to lead the legacy beyond limit.

All these makes ‘Artemis’ Moon Mission the most ambitious mission ever by NASA.


Check out the NASA’s blueprint of Artemis Program…

Artemis 2024


And you… Astrophile…

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