NASA is supporting the creation of a lunar economy through commercial deliveries of NASA science that will help prepare for the next generation of explorers. Science experiments and technology demonstrations delivered to the lunar surface as part of Artemis will help lay the foundation for human exploration on the Moon. NASA is working with several American companies to deliver science and technology to the lunar surface through the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative.
Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term, sustainable lunar presence, and serving as a stepping stone for future astronaut missions to Mars. Artemis I launched in 2022 and its subsequent test flight with crew is scheduled to occur in 2024 in advance of NASA sending humans to the surface of the Moon no earlier than 2025.
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NASA will honor the next generation of Artemis astronaut candidates to graduate at 10:30 a.m. EST Tuesday, March 5, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
After completing more than two years of basic training, these candidates will earn their wings and become eligible for spaceflight, including assignments to the International Space Station, future commercial destinations, missions to the Moon, and eventually, missions to Mars.
Both the ceremony and Q&A session will stream live on NASA+, NASA Television, and the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.
After the ceremony, at 11:45 a.m., NASA will host a Q&A session with students and media in the audience. Those following the session on social media may ask questions using #AskNASA.
The approximately 10-day Artemis II flight test will launch on the agency’s powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.
The astronauts will launch from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B atop the SLS rocket as it generates 8.8 million pounds of thrust, beginning their 600,000 mile journey. Once out of our atmosphere, these star sailors will conduct a targeting demonstration and check the Orion spacecraft’s systems near Earth before they head around the Moon and back to Earth, reentering our atmosphere at 30 times the speed of sound, before gently splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
Four astronauts have been selected for NASA’s Artemis II mission: Commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Christina Koch from NASA, and mission specialist Jeremy Hansen from the Canadian Space Agency.
Artemis II will be NASA’s first crewed flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft around the Moon to verify today’s capabilities for humans to explore deep space and pave the way for long-term exploration and science on the lunar surface.
Artemis II will be the first flight with crew aboard NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. During their mission, four astronauts will confirm all of the spacecraft’s systems operate as designed with people aboard in the actual environment of deep space, over the course of about a 10-day mission. The Artemis II flight test will pave the way to land the first woman and next man on the Moon on Artemis III.
Want to meet a “rock” star? How about two? Andrea Mosie and Juliane Gross work in the Astromaterials lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It’s their job to keep track of every Moon rock sample brought back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts, and to help scientists all over the world conduct lunar sample research.
Are you interested in learning about the space technologies of the Artemis missions? The Illinois Space Tech Academy is a free online course about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Participants complete modules relating to four different topics – Go, Land, Live, Explore – and can earn a digital badge by showing mastery of each module’s content. This course is open to anyone interested in learning about the technologies which will take us to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
NASA is committed to landing American astronauts, including the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon under the Artemis program. Through the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration program, we will use innovative new technologies and systems to explore more of the Moon than ever before.
The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft are designed to send humans to deep space as the backbone for America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach.