NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission will bring benefits to Earth
NASA’s new lunar mission will take science to multiple destinations in the solar system, a senior agency official said Wednesday (Nov. 16).
Hours after launching artemis 1 the bigger kicked off Artemis program effort to return humans to the moon, a NASA official said the uncrewed mission, which taken off at 1:47 a.m. EST (0647 GMT), is a cornerstone in building future missions with humans on board.
“Artemis 1 is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to explore the Moon in preparation for missions to MarsKate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate adviser, told Space.com in a video interview.
Related: Artemis 1 launch photos: Amazing views of NASA’s lunar rocket debut (Gallery)
Compared to the manned Apollo program lunar missions of the 1960s and 1970s, the Artemis program is intended to do more science and stay longer than even the three-day longer missions like Apollo 17 succeeded at the end of the program, Calvin explained.
“The science, we’re using both humans and robots to learn more about the moon, in preparation for … other missions in the future,” she said, referring to both Artemis missions and crewed efforts with other celestial destinations.
While Artemis 1 flies to lunar realms, Calvin said the mission would benefit anyway Soil science. Scientific payloads and mannequins on board the Orion spacecraft will measure and assess radiation in cislunar space to learn “effects on crew and electronics,” while other experiments and cubesats will collect photos and biological measurements of living things such as algae, seeds, molds and yeast.
Practicing long-term life beyond Earth will also benefit sustainability on our planet, Calvin said.
Related: Epic Artemis 1 rocket launch spotted blasting through Earth’s atmosphere in satellite image
After Artemis 1, the artemis 2 manned mission that will orbit the moon no earlier than 2024, and the Artemis 3 landing mission targeting 2025 or 2026, assuming the debut effort goes according to plan.
“Each mission within Artemis increases complexity,” Calvin said. “We’re very excited about that as we go back to the moon and on to Mars.”
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “Why am I taller (opens in new tab)(ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).
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