• American space agency NASA is planning to land the first woman on the Moon by the year 2024 under the Artemis lunar exploration program.
What is Artemis?
• In 2011, NASA began the ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun) mission using a pair of repurposed spacecraft and in 2012 the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft studied the Moon’s gravity.
• The mission is named after the Greek goddess of the Moon and the twin sister of the god Apollo.
• NASA will use the Space Launch System rocket (SLS) and Orion spacecraft for this programme.
• The astronauts going for the Artemis program will wear newly designed spacesuits, called Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU.
• Mission- It will send the next man to set foot on the Moon and will explore as much of the Moon’s surface as possible and create sustainable missions to the earth’s natural satellite by 2028.
• The learnings and experience from the programme will be used as a stepping stone for the agency’s next ambitious project that is to send astronauts to Mars.
Scientific objectives of the program:
• Find and use water and other critical resources needed for long-term exploration.
• Investigate the Moon’s mysteries and learn more about the earth and the universe.
• Learn how to live and operate on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home.
• Prove the technologies needed before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years roundtrip.
Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech
Prelims level: Artemis program
Mains level: Highlights of the scientific program