After the Apollo 17 mission in 1972, no human has ever reached the lunar surface again. On October 28, Spacenews presented a report revealing how NASA officials are planning to achieve the Second moon landing mission since the 20th century during the Artemis 4 mission.
This moon landing mission will follow the Artemis 3 mission during which NASA plans to send the first humans to the moon in the 21st century. The American Space Agency is planning on commencing with Artemis 3 mission in 2025 after its Artemis 1 and 2 mission. SpaceX has been contracted by NASA to build lunar landers for these Artemis moon landing missions.
Once the lunar mission is completed, SpaceX will commence with the testing of this sophisticated shuttle. The outcome of this test and other conditions will determine if Artemis 3 mission will take off in 2025 and Artemis 4 in 2027. NASA plans to follow its Artemis Space program accordingly. This implies that the space agency will not skip Artemis 1 and embrace Artemis 2 mission.
Artemis 1 was earlier scheduled to launch in September and October respectively. But after the launch was delayed due to some technical issues, NASA now has a new date for its Artemis 1 mission. The American Space Agency is hoping to launch the Artemis 1 mission on November 14. The goal of NASA during this mission is to conduct an uncrewed flyby mission around the moon to execute the Orion Spacecraft’s first orbital mission.
Artemis 2 will conduct a Crewed flyby mission around lunar orbit in 2024. During the Artemis 3 mission in 2025, astronauts will be landing on the lunar surface for the first time in the 20th century. NASA planned the Artemis 4 mission to support the Gateway lunar space station.
To ensure the success of the Artemis 3 and 4 mission, NASA contracted SpaceX in April 2021 to build the landing systems. The American Space Agency is also working with another agency for the development of the Human Landing Mission (HLS). Mark Kirasich, deputy associate administrator for Artemis revealed to Spacenews that this new landing System will be ready before Artemis 5 commences.
However, as the Lunar Gateway is currently under development, it may take some time before it will be completed and launched. The habitation module known as I-Hab is currently under development as European and Japanese officials are working towards the success of the module. When the module is completed, space agencies may be faced with the challenge of launching it because of its size.
Even though NASA has a massive Space rocket, the agency is still experiencing challenges with transporting larger modules into space. The Space agency will likely design a larger upper stage named Exploration Upper Stage to accommodate the larger module into space. However, SpaceNews reveals that the progress of this massive upper-stage vehicle is still delayed due to cost and schedule challenges. Once everything is set, the habitable module will be launched.
The Artemis 4 mission is expected to commence 2 years after the first moon landing in the 21st century. With the progress made so far, we should be expecting NASA to establish a permanent human presence on the moon and possibly open the door to reach Mars. What do you think about this announcement made on Artemis 4 mission?