The Artemis program is an ambitious venture by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) to explore and build a sustainable lunar base. On April 3rd, the two agencies will announce the four astronauts that will crew the Artemis II mission, a voyage around the Moon. The live broadcast will take place at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, and the astronauts will be three from NASA and one from the CSA.
The Artemis II mission will build on the success of the Artemis I mission, which launched an uncrewed Orion spacecraft atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in December 2022. The 26-day mission tested and validated the SLS and Orion capabilities as it performed a 1.4 million-mile circumlunar journey. With the Artemis II mission, a crew of four will fly around the Moon and back to Earth, testing and stressing the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems to prove the capabilities and techniques required to live and work in deep space.
The approximately 10-day mission is scheduled for launch in November 2024. After the Artemis II mission is complete, NASA and SpaceX will collaborate to perform the Artemis III mission, which will involve using SLS, Orion, and a lunar-optimized SpaceX Starship Human Landing System (SLS) to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2025. The mission will be successful only with partnerships both internationally and in the private sector.
The astronauts chosen for this mission will be the first to fly around the Moon, and they will be paving the way for future lunar landings and the next giant leap – human exploration of Mars. Tune in to the live broadcast on April 3rd to meet the astronauts and learn more about the mission. With the help of the Artemis program, humanity is one step closer to reaching our dreams of space exploration.