NASA’s Artemis: The Next Mission to the Moon


Neil Armstrong, Courtesy of NASA

Image of astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11 mission, standing on the Moon, taken by Neil Armstrong.

During the space race between the United States and Russia, the first humans landed on the moon as a part of the Apollo XI mission in 1969. Since then, there have been six other trips to the moon during the Apollo missions. Five of the six were successful. During the Apollo missions, 12 men walked on the moon’s surface between 1969 and 1972. But since then, NASA has been in no rush to get people back up to the moon due to the cost and other priorities. In today’s money, it costs about $257 billion for the Apollo project. So to take on another trip to the moon, NASA will need the government funding necessary to do so. After the Apollo missions were completed, there was no huge effort to get back to the moon due to other priorities. The moon is just one of many planets that need exploration, so it’s not been a huge priority until now.

NASA’s new Artemis Plan is the next mission that will take humans to the moon again. Artemis l was launched on November 16, 2022. It was used to conduct a lunar flyby around the Moon and back to Earth. It was designed as a test run with no humans aboard. Artemis ll is planned to launch sometime between 2023 and 2024. Artemis ll will also do a flyby around the moon, but this time, with passengers, rumored to be 4 of them. Artemis ll will not land on the moon, but it will be the farthest a manned spacecraft has ever traveled.

In 2024-2025 Artemis lll is planned to launch and land two astronauts on the moon for the first time in more than 50 years. One of the main goals of the Artemis mission is to have those two astronauts be a woman and a person of color. This will be a very important historical event because neither a woman nor a person of color has ever landed on the moon. More diversity will be seen throughout the astronomy field with this moon landing.

While a moon landing has happened before, the extent of technology and knowledge on traveling through space has grown drastically. Therefore, with this trip to the moon, new things will be accomplished, and discoveries will be made.