Could Humanity Return to the Moon?

The story of the Artemis Missions


Ever since the launch of Sputnik One, humans have strived to go further into the stars. First, we sent a dog into space, then we sent one that came back alive. In 1969 the U.S. launched Apollo 11 which landed the first humans on the moon. On December 14 1972 Apollo 17 lifted off from the lunar surface and no human has returned since. NASA plans to change that in the next few years.


The NASA plan to return to the moon is called Artemis named after the Greek goddess of wild animals and vegetation and the twin sister of Apollo. The first mission, Artemis One, launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 16th of 2022 without a crew. Its mission was to test the Orion spacecraft, specifically its heat shield. The next mission, Artemis Two will have a crew and is planned for May of 2024. They will do a lunar flyby but will not land on the moon. The lucky people who do get to land on the moon will be the Artemis Three crew.


Artemis Three is scheduled for 2025 and will launch from Earth carrying 4 crew of which 2 will land on the surface. Those two will stay on the lunar surface for approximately a week. NASA has stated that it intends to have the first woman and person of color land on the moon during Artemis Three. They will conduct several scientific tests such as sampling water ice. In addition, they will have a rover to use during their space walks. 


Five more Artemis missions are planned with another five being proposed. So it is possible and probable that in the history books of the future, they will regard the 2000s as the most consequential century in space exploration. For that will be the century humanity relanded to the moon, and then looked beyond.