Known as the Artemis I mission, this is the first in a series of increasingly complex mission designed to take humans back to the Moon for the first time since December 1972.
The new Space Launch System being used is the most powerful rocket NASA has ever launched, and it’ll not only travel to the Moon – further than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown – but also deploy some small satellites.
On board the Orion Crew Capsule there’ll be a slightly strange mix of mannequins, artifacts, mementos, and zero-gravity indicators.
The goal is to practice operating the spacecraft and test the crew conditions to make sure that the spacecraft is safe for future crew.
In 2024, NASA plans to launch Artemis 2, the first crewed Artemis mission into space using an even more powerful version of the Space Launch System rocket (assuming the spacesuits are ready).
Artemis 3 is scheduled for 2025, and will aim to land the first woman and first person of color to near the Moon’s south pole.
In 2027, the Artemis 4 mission will take astronauts to a mini-lunar station called Gateway.
We can’t wait, and are looking forward to watching this important first step with all of you today!