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Artemis Program

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Artemis Program

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features and objectives of Artemis.

For Mains: Significance and relevance of the mission for future space programmes.

Context: United States space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that it will begin to accept applications for astronauts under its Artemis programme from March 2 to March 31, 2020.


  • The space agency has listed several requirements in order to qualify for training under the Artemis programme: one must be a US citizen and have a master’s degree in a STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field from an accredited institution.
  • Candidates must also have completed at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircrafts or have two years of related experience.
  • Another mandatory requirement is to pass NASA’s long-duration spaceflight physical test.

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.

Mission details:

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.

Artemis 1, 2 and 3:

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.

Scientific objectives:

  1. Find and use water and other critical resources needed for long-term exploration.
  2. Investigate the Moon’s mysteries and learn more about our home planet and the universe.
  3. Learn how to live and operate on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home.
  4. Prove the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years roundtrip.


Sources: Down to Earth.