NASA’s Artemis Mission Aims to Put a Woman on The Moon in Five Years
Get in loser, we're going to the moon.
NASA has announced bold plans for the future of space travel, that include the first woman to land on the Moon. The Artemis mission (so named because Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo, the namesake of NASA’s original moon missions) is designed to not only return to the Moon, but to establish a lunar base that could serve as a future launching point to Mars and other planets.
In the 50 years since NASA’s 1969 Moon landing, women have yet to set foot on the lunar surface, something that NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine is looking to change. Bridenstine also predicted that a woman would be the first to set foot on Mars.
Bridenstine said at a space symposium conference last month, “The first woman will be an American on the surface of the moon in five years … That is an extreme declaration and a charge that we are going to live up to at NASA.” He followed up by saying, “I have a daughter who is 11 years old, and I want her to be able to see herself in the same role as the next women that go to the Moon.”
NASA lays out its ambitious five year plan in a new informational video narrated by William Shatner. The mission involves the development of the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built that is designed to carry heavier payloads into deep space. NASA will also be incorporating the next generation of space capsules, the Orion, which will be designed to transport astronauts to and from the Moon.
NASA also announced plans for an orbiting platform around the Moon, called Gateway, which will function as a space station, a hub where capsules and lunar landers can dock and depart from, in addition to a place for conducting experiments. It not only provides a base for Moon exploration, but a launching pad for deeper space travel.
Another concern regarding an extended stay on the moon is finding sustainable source of food, water, and oxygen. Since the discovery of water ice on the moon, scientists are working on plans to not only purify the water for drinking, but to distill its hydrogen molecules for rocket fuel and its oxygen molecules for breathing. Seriously, how cool it that?
Artemis aims not only to take humans to moon, but to establish a template and structure for deeper space exploration. It’s an ambitious new development that will change the very dynamics of space travel. And hopefully, women astronauts will be at the forefront of these exciting plans.
This announcement comes on the heels of NASA’s failed all-woman space walk, which was canceled in March after it turned out that there weren’t enough spacesuits for the two women on board. Here’s hoping that Artemis includes provisions for plenty of space suits of all sizes. After all, “only one can be moon queen!”
(via Syfy Wire, image: NASA)
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