Context: NASA unveils plan for Artemis ‘base camp’ on the moon beyond 2024.
Artemis Base camp:
Artemis Base Camp is meant to be a long-term foothold for lunar exploration, perhaps in Shackleton Crater at the moon’s south pole.
The Camp itself would be a lunar foundation surface habitat that could host four astronauts at the south pole for visits of perhaps a week.
In the long term, the facility would also require infrastructure for power, waste disposal and communications, as well as radiation shielding and a landing pad.
The base could also be a site for testing new techniques for dealing with pesky lunar dust and the long, cold lunar nights, turning local materials into resources like water, and developing new power and construction technologies.
What is Artemis?
Artemis– Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of Moon’s Interaction with the Sun. It is NASA’s next mission to the Moon. Objective: To measure what happens when the Sun’s radiation hits our rocky moon, where there is no magnetic field to protect it. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology.
Significance of the mission:
With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.
NASA’s powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft nearly a quarter million miles from Earth to lunar orbit.
Astronauts will dock Orion at the Gateway and transfer to a human landing system for expeditions to the surface of the Moon.
They will return to the orbital outpost to board Orion again before returning safely to Earth.
Background- Artemis 1 and 2:
The agency will fly two missions around the Moon to test its deep space exploration systems. NASA is working toward launching Artemis I, an uncrewed flight to test the SLS and Orion spacecraft together, followed by the Artemis II mission, the first SLS and Orion test flight with crew. NASA will land astronauts on the Moon by 2024 on the Artemis III mission and about once a year thereafter.
Find and use water and other critical resources needed for long-term exploration.
Investigate the Moon’s mysteries and learn more about our home planet and the universe.
Learn how to live and operate on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home.
Prove the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years roundtrip.