NASA will introduce four astronauts to the moon on Monday. Four Americans and one Canadian will be part of the crew of Artemis II, a 10-day mission in late 2024 that will orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
The team will join a group of American astronauts who visited the moon from 1968 to 1972 during the Apollo era. Here’s what you need to know about Monday’s announcement.
When is the notification and how do I see it?
What is Artemis II?
NASA astronauts last left the Moon in December 1972 with the completion of the Apollo 17 mission. Since then, a return to the moon has been discussed many times. The Trump administration dubbed its efforts Project Artemis, which has continued since President Biden entered the White House.
Last November, NASA launched the Artemis I mission, the largest Space Launch System rocket, and a test of an uncrewed Orion capsule. It launched Artemis II, the first of NASA’s new missions to the moon with astronauts. It won’t launch until at least November 2024.
Riding aboard an Orion capsule, astronauts will travel into an elliptical orbit 1,800 miles above Earth, giving the astronauts time to see how the Orion systems work. It will then travel towards the Moon and use its gravity to fall back to Earth in the Pacific Ocean. The entire trip should take about 10 days.
Who are astronauts?
are present 41 astronauts Considered active at NASA. It is from this group that the agency selects three astronauts to travel to the moon during the Artemis II mission.
The fourth will be an astronaut, of which there are four active astronauts.
Three active NASA astronauts are not eligible for Artemis II because they are currently aboard the International Space Station and others are preparing for upcoming missions there. But if those astronauts remain in the force after they return home, they, others not named for Artemis II, and future candidates could join the crew of Artemis III. Two of the astronauts will land on the moon on that mission, which is scheduled for sometime before 2025.
Why is NASA going back to the moon?
NASA officials argue that lunar missions are central to its human spaceflight program — not the Apollo lunar missions from 1968 to 1972.
By mastering longer missions to the Moon, they say, NASA astronauts will be better prepared for missions to Mars. NASA hopes to start companies that will set up a sustainable business to fly scientific instruments and other payloads to the moon.