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  The Artemis Plan: NASA program overview

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Author Topic:   The Artemis Plan: NASA program overview
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 48640
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-21-2020 03:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Publishes Artemis Plan to Land First Woman, Next Man on Moon in 2024

Following a series of critical contract awards and hardware milestones, NASA has shared an update on its Artemis program, including the latest Phase 1 plans to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024.

The Artemis Plan: NASA's Lunar Exploration Program Overview (pdf)

In the 18 months since NASA accepted a bold challenge to accelerate its exploration plans by more than four years and establish sustainable exploration by the end of the decade, the agency has continued to gain momentum toward sending humans to the Moon again for the first time since the last Apollo lunar mission in 1972.

"With bipartisan support from Congress, our 21st century push to the Moon is well within America's reach," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "As we've solidified more of our exploration plans in recent months, we've continued to refine our budget and architecture. We're going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new a generation of explorers. As we build up a sustainable presence, we're also building momentum toward those first human steps on the Red Planet."

In its formal plan, NASA captures Artemis progress to date, identifying the key science, technology and human missions, as well as the commercial and international partnerships that will ensure we continue to lead in exploration and achieve our ambitious goal to land astronauts on the Moon.

The agency's powerful new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Orion spacecraft are closer than ever to their first integrated launch. The spacecraft is complete while the core stage and its attached four engines are undergoing a final series of tests that will culminate in a critical hot fire test this fall.

Early Artemis Missions

Following a successful hot fire test, the core stage will be shipped to the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the spacecraft. NASA will launch an SLS and an Orion together on two flight tests around the Moon to check performance, life support, and communication capabilities. The first mission – known as Artemis I – is on track for 2021 without astronauts, and Artemis II will fly with crew in 2023.

In the Phase 1 plan, NASA notes additional details about conducting a new test during the Artemis II mission – a proximity operations demonstration. Shortly after Orion separates from the interim cryogenic propulsion stage, astronauts will manually pilot Orion as they approach and back away from the stage. This demonstration will assess Orion's handling qualities and related hardware and software to provide performance data and operational experience that cannot be readily gained on the ground in preparation for rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking, as well as undocking operations in lunar orbit beginning on Artemis III.

While preparing for and carrying out these flight test missions, NASA already will be back on the Moon robotically – using commercial delivery services to send dozens of new science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon twice per year beginning in 2021.

In 2024, Artemis III will be humanity's return to the surface of the Moon. After launching on SLS, astronauts will travel about 240,000 miles to lunar orbit aboard Orion, at which point they will directly board one of the new commercial human landing systems, or dock to the Gateway to inspect it and gather supplies before boarding the landing system for their expedition to the surface.

Wearing modern spacesuits that allow for greater flexibility and movement than those of their Apollo predecessors, astronauts will collect samples and conduct a range of science experiments over the course of nearly seven days. Using the lander, they will return to lunar orbit before ultimately heading home to Earth aboard Orion.

Work is progressing rapidly on the Gateway. NASA will integrate the first two components to launch – the power and propulsion element and the habitation and logistics outpost – in 2023. This foundation for the Gateway will be able to operate autonomously, conducting remote science experiments when astronauts are not aboard. NASA has selected the first two science instrument suites to conduct space weather investigations in lunar orbit before crew visits.

While NASA has not made a final decision to use the Gateway for Artemis III, Artemis IV and beyond will send crew aboard Orion to dock to the Gateway, where two crew members can stay aboard the spaceship in orbit while two go to the surface. Over time, the outpost will evolve, with new modules added by international partners, allowing crew members to conduct increasingly longer lunar missions.

As detailed in the agency's concept for surface sustainability earlier this year, an incremental buildup of infrastructure on the surface will follow later this decade, allowing for longer surface expeditions with more crew. That concept calls for an Artemis Base Camp that would include new rovers, power systems, habitats, and more on the surface for long-term exploration of the Moon.

Throughout the Artemis program, robots and humans will search for, and potentially extract, resources such as water that can be converted into other usable resources, including oxygen and fuel. By fine-tuning precision landing technologies as well as developing new mobility capabilities, astronauts will travel farther distances and explore new regions of the Moon.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 5104
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-21-2022 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ars Technica has obtained internal planning documents from NASA showing an Artemis mission schedule and manifest for now through fiscal year 2034.
At present NASA has its baseline plan for Artemis. But NASA has also developed at least two "in-guide" schedule options, which agency planners believe are achievable with anticipated budgets, the documents show. These revised schedules indicate that NASA planners do not believe the baseline plan will be achievable on time or within budget.

One of the internal schedules, labeled "cadence," prioritizes launching regularly. The other, labeled "content," prioritizes launching only when the most meaningful payloads are ready. Combined, they reveal that NASA is struggling to cram an ambitious exploration plan into a finite budget. The result is a slow-moving lunar program that, in large part, fails to deliver on the goals of the US National Space Policy.

Space Cadet Carl
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From: Lake Orion, MI
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 06-22-2022 06:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Space Cadet Carl   Click Here to Email Space Cadet Carl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A lunar landing is planned for 2024, but I'm alarmed at how we've seen next to nothing regarding the new Lunar Module or "Human Landing System". In comparison, the public began seeing preliminary Lunar Module designs from Grumman in 1962... seven full years before the successful Apollo 11 landing. Am I being needlessly concerned?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 06-22-2022 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA is now targeting the first crewed lunar landing for no earlier than 2025.

As for the Human Landing System, it is SpaceX's Starship modified with legs and a payload and crew elevator. SpaceX will fly an uncrewed landing demonstration prior to the Artemis III mission.

Gordon Eliot Reade
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From: Palo Alto, Calif.
Registered: Jun 2015

posted 06-22-2022 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gordon Eliot Reade   Click Here to Email Gordon Eliot Reade     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Starship looks like an illustration from one of my boyhood science fiction books. Amazing!

Headshot
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From: Vancouver, WA, USA
Registered: Feb 2012

posted 06-22-2022 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Headshot   Click Here to Email Headshot     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not believe that you are being needlessly concerned, Carl. But you must remember that this is not 1962. We have already landed on the moon. We know its surface composition and its gravitational field, we know how to track spacecraft in lunar orbit to a high degree of precision and we can pick our landing spots to within a few tens of meters. Apollo engineers had to take into account far more unknowns than we have today.

That being said, we are now talking about Artemis bringing more crew members, a larger lunar landing craft, and more equipment to the lunar surface in areas that were totally off-limits to Apollo astronauts. But the problem is that the Moon is no longer the ultimate goal, it is merely a stepping stone.

What disturbs me is that I do not see a unified sense of national purpose in the Artemis Program. The lack of early emphasis on the human lunar landers and even the moon exploration suits is appalling. These contracts should have been let at least three years ago. Artemis seems to be made of many separate businesses, each focused on making a profit and keeping their proprietary designs a secret from others. NASA is in unfamiliar territory being forced to buy many services, rather than lots of equipment. Even when they purchase equipment, something with which they should be familiar, situations like the Bechtel Mobile Launcher fiasco just disturb the hell out of me. I wonder what would have happened if James Webb were still alive and in charge.

I am afraid that the times, they are a changin'. People like me will just have to have hope and faith. Realistically, however, I do not see Artemis III launching until the 2027-2028 time frame, if then.

perineau
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Posts: 338
From: FRANCE
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 06-23-2022 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Quite frankly, I see Artemis going the same way as Altair.

NukeGuy
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From: Irvine, CA USA
Registered: May 2014

posted 07-05-2022 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NukeGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At best, we'll get a reprise of Apollo 8 and then the program will be indefinitely suspended while budget and technical issues get resolved.

Not a promising sign when the program has to remind themselves that "We Are Capable."

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-05-2022 10:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NukeGuy:
At best, we'll get a reprise of Apollo 8...

Don't take this the wrong way, but isn't the flight plan for Artemis 2 more like Apollo 13 than Apollo 8?

NukeGuy
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From: Irvine, CA USA
Registered: May 2014

posted 07-05-2022 11:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NukeGuy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You’re correct. I thought it was actually going into lunar orbit.

perineau
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Posts: 338
From: FRANCE
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-06-2022 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Orion program began with (first funding) in 2006 (16 years ago). What have we got to show for it?

I think the "funding issue" will result in continuing to drain NASA expenditures in the future and getting us no where near Mars before the second half of this century.

Blackarrow
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From: Belfast, United Kingdom
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 07-06-2022 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suspect the first NASA astronauts to set foot on Mars will be greeted by members of Elon Musk's Mars colony.

perineau
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Posts: 338
From: FRANCE
Registered: Jul 2007

posted 07-07-2022 01:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for perineau   Click Here to Email perineau     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In other words, perhaps SpaceX is the new NASA...

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