Monday, April 3, 2023

Artemis II: Pioneering the Lunar Frontier - NASA's Crewed Return to the Moon in 2024

NASA has unveiled the four astronauts participating in the historic Artemis II lunar mission, including three Americans - Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch - and one Canadian, Jeremy Hansen. This groundbreaking mission, scheduled for November 2024, aims to send the Orion spacecraft with a crew on the Space Launch System for the first time. The astronauts will spend approximately nine days in space, testing the spacecraft's approach to the Moon and safely returning to Earth.

The Artemis II mission follows the successful unmanned Artemis I mission and sets the stage for the highly anticipated Artemis III mission, which will land the first woman and another man on the Moon between late 2025 and early 2026. Preparations for Artemis II are well underway at the Kennedy Space Center, with a new giant tank designed to hold over 5 million liters of liquid hydrogen to speed up launch attempts for future missions.

As for SpaceX's Starship, chosen by NASA to transport crews from lunar orbit to the Moon's surface, its test launch remains a point of uncertainty. The Starship, featuring 33 engines and standing 50 meters tall, is slated to undergo its first orbital test in late April. The question remains whether it will be ready for the Artemis III mission at the end of 2025. 

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