Artemis Shoots for the Moon


The Artemis I rocket prepared to launch at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Ryan S., Science Club Head

Man is returning to the Moon. The planned launch of NASA’s Artemis I mission will set in motion a project, decades in the making, with the goals of returning humans to the Moon for the first time in half a century, and eventually making way for deep space exploration to Mars and beyond.  

First conceived in the early 2000’s, the Artemis I mission will be the first to test a myriad of new technologies capable of revolutionizing the world of space exploration. The Orion capsule, mounted at the tip of the rocket, will eventually be used to take astronauts to the Moon and beyond. The Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket beneath it is the most powerful rocket since the 26 story tall behemoth Saturn V rocket used to catapult the Apollo missions into orbit. Named after the mythological sister of Apollo, Artemis aims to return the United States to its “golden age” of space innovation, last seen at the height of the space race with the Apollo missions. 

A NASA graphic depicting the planned phases of the Artemis I mission.

This mission, which has thus far faced an onslaught of delays and a yet unknown launch date, involves a complex ballet of in-orbit maneuvers carefully orchestrated by the engineers at NASA to provide immense new information about our Moon. After launch, Artemis I will deploy a series of satellites into orbit between the Moon and the Earth before orbiting around the Moon, collecting data through the numerous scientific instruments onboard, with the 25 day mission culminating in a splash landing off the coast of California.  

As with most projects of this scale, Artemis has not been without its fair share of challenges. Critics accuse NASA of mismanagement, overspending, and dire work conditions, while the launch of the mission has been delayed by months already due to technical difficulties. With a projected cost of a whopping 93 billion dollars, Artemis represents a monumental investment of time, resources, and money. At best, Artemis has the potential to revolutionize space exploration for years to come, at worst, it epitomizes government overspending and Sisyphean projects. Will Artemis find its target, or will NASA miss its mark? 


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