Photo Credit: Min An
Up, Up And Away: U.S Begins Countdown To Travel To The Moon
53 years later, the U.S. is preparing to travel to the moon once more. NASA has laid out the Armetis program for this historic landing.
Traveling to the moon is no small feat, so the countdown is much awaited. On August 3, NASA confirmed the mission, named Artemis I, will launch later this month on August 29. The mission will be the first in the program to carry U.S. astronauts to the moon from the Kennedy Space Center, in the state of Florida.
Ultimately, the mission is to travel a total of 2.1 million kilometers, reach lunar orbit and fly at a minimum altitude of 97 kilometers above the surface of the moon. The initial trip will be without astronauts. It will be a real and complete unmanned test.
U.S. prepares to travel to the moon, again
In preparation for this new course to the moon, there are a few precautions. Before risking the lives of any astronauts, they will check that the new launcher – the Space Launch System (SLS) – is a safe and reliable means of space transportation. Notably, the SLS is thought to be “the world’s most powerful rocket.”
On the true mission, the rocket will carry astronauts to the natural satellite, and bring them back after a 43-day round trip – barring emergencies. It will then splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of San Diego, California.
NASA has confirmed six missions for the Artemis program and the total cost is around $10 billion. Artemis I will be followed by Artemis II, which is due to launch in May 2024. This will be the first manned mission, although the four astronauts on board will not yet land on the moon.
In 2025, NASA will launch Artemis III, which will also have four astronauts, two of whom will reach the surface of the Moon. One of these will be the first woman to set foot on the moon.