Discover the opportunities of the Artemis Program
Artemis is NASA's new lunar exploration program. It's all lunar activities and includes a mission to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. The goal of the program is to begin to understand what infrastructure and preparation are needed to eventually send an astronaut to set foot on Mars.
How do we learn?
Artemis is more than an exploration of the Moon. It's a discovery of how humans and machines might make it possible to explore farther into our universe and stay longer on other planets. NASA is planning many experiments to launch during the Artemis program, to gather information, test hypotheses, and develop conclusions that can be extrapolated to other planets.
The experiments will require a collaboration between:
- The experts working on Earth
- The astronauts on the Moon
- The machines that are programmed on Earth and executed on the Moon.
Communication is difficult between Earth and the Moon. And it's not possible to "just go back for another quick look". So the preparation begins years in advance to maximize the chances of success in discoveries.
What innovations are happening?
The Artemis program is pushing the technology behind key systems required for exploring the Moon:
- Exploration Ground Systems - The spacecraft needs more powerful rockets and more resources to enable longer-staying and further-reaching crewed missions. The ground systems on Earth need to be upgraded and improved.
- Space Launch System - The new rocket that's being designed isn't just for the Moon, it's a rocket design meant to be used for future launches to planets such as Mars. The system that's needed to launch this new rocket into space must be more flexible and able to evolve than previous versions, to account for varying destinations and cargo.
- Orion - The spacecraft that will be used both for the crew to enter the lunar orbit and return to Earth safely needs to be designed to withstand the extreme heat it will experience during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
- Gateway - The communication between the astronauts on the Moon (or beyond) and the experts on Earth is more critical as we go further and stay longer. The Gateway outpost is being redesigned with commercial and international partners so that NASA can prepare for future missions.
- Human Landing Systems - Lunar landers let astronauts move from the lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon reliably and safely. These systems need to be able to dock to both Orion and the Gateway in order to support discoveries and the sustainability of conducting research on the Moon or other planets.
- Artemis Generation Spacesuits - Although astronauts have successfully walked on the Moon in the past, the new exploration goals require that spacesuits last longer and are more flexible. See NASA's Suit Up page for details on the two new types of suits. These spacesuits can let astronauts stay in them longer, move more easily, and be safe through launch and re-entry to Earth.