NASA’s Next Gen STEM project in partnership with USDA Forest Service is excited to kick-off the upcoming school year with a unique opportunity. Nearly 2000 tree seeds travelled to the Moon and back to Earth aboard the Artemis I, Orion space capsule! Education and community organizations are invited submit a proposal for an Artemis Moon Tree Seedling through NASA’s Artifacts Module Program.
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.