Tinkle Explains
Tinkle Explains: NASA’s Artemis Program
Writer: Devika Soni
Illustrator: Manas Bhagwat


What is NASA’s Artemis Program? 

It is a mission created to fly repeated trips to the Moon so that NASA can build a headquarters there. It has been named after Artemis, the Greek goddess of the Moon. NASA hopes to use the knowledge from their Moon base to venture further into space and land astronauts on Mars!  

Here’s a fun fact about Artemis: This mission will help NASA land the first woman and the first person of colour on the Moon! 

Artemis Program Explained 

NASA is going to launch three spaceships under Artemis. 

  • The first one, Artemis I, is scheduled to launch in November 2022. It will be the first uncrewed test flight of NASA’s space exploration spacecraft, Orion; the European Service module; and SLS (Space Launch System), the rocket that will carry Orion and other equipment to space. This mission will last 4-6 weeks and will take Orion around the Moon and back to Earth. 
  • Artemis II, scheduled for May 2024, will be the first crewed flight. This 10-day mission will see four astronauts orbiting the Moon aboard Orion and returning to Earth.  
  • Artemis III, scheduled for 2025 will be similar to Artemis II. However, when Orion enters the Moon’s orbit, it will send a spaceship near the Moon’s south pole. There, astronauts will spend 6.5 days exploring the Moon and come back to Earth in Orion.

Why is NASA sending people to the Moon again? 

The Moon’s soil and craters carry a lot of information about the Solar System’s history. NASA believes the Moon can also act as a training ground for missions to other parts of the Solar System. Astronauts will learn how to build shelters on the Moon, fly through deep space and extract water from the Moon’s ice deposits. These lessons will help NASA launch its Mars mission. 

Artemis I is going to carry some interesting objects into space! 

  • There will be three mannequins made of material similar to human beings’ soft tissue, organs and bones. These mannequins will have 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors to understand radiation exposure during the mission. 
  • It will carry a new version of Amazon’s Alexa called Callisto to show how astronauts and flight operators can use artificial intelligence and technology to make their jobs safer. 
  • To study the effects of space environment on seeds, NASA is sending a variety of tree and plant seeds on Artemis I. 
  • To help NASA understand whether the spaceship has entered zero gravity, the space organization will send a few small toys—Shaun the Sheep, Snoopy and four Lego figurines. 
  • Artemis I will also carry a piece of Moon rock from Apollo 11 and a bolt from the Apollo 11’s F-1 engine. 
  • Finally, it will carry various objects of cultural significance including a 3D-printed replica of the Greek goddess, Artemis, and a pebble from the lowest dry land surface on Earth, the shore of the Dead Sea. 

Click here to learn about Exoplanets!

National Geographic
NASA – Artemis
NASA – Moon to Mars
Business Insider

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