We Commit To The Moon-Mars Mission - The True Spark for Changing the Culture - Report - Page 5
Artemis: Back to the Moon by 2024
Successfully realize the Artemis mission to bring mankind — including the
first woman — to the Moon to stay in 2024, as President Trump and his NASA
Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, have called for.
Have you heard? After more than 45 years, we’re finally
going back to the Moon—this time to stay! In 2017 President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 calling for
the return of American astronauts to the surface of the
Moon, and in 2019 he said this should be accomplished
by 2024 (before the end of his prospective second term).
This bold plan has been called Project Artemis, named
after the twin sister of the ancient Greek god Apollo (the
namesake of the first Moon-landing program). It’s a very
fitting name, as this mission will bring the first woman
to the Moon.
The Project Artemis plan is to land astronauts on the
Moon’s South Pole by 2024, followed by the establishment of a regular human presence on the Moon by
2028—focused on new scientific investigations, learning
how to utilize the resources of the Moon, and demonstrating technological advancements needed for human
exploration of Mars.
The Lunar South Pole is of particular interest. As NASA’s deputy associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, Steven Clarke, said:1
1. “Moon’s South Pole in NASA’s Landing Sites,” NASA.gov,
April 15, 2019, https://www.nasa.gov/feature/moon-s-south-polein-nasa-s-landing-sites
Colonizing Space Will Change Our Culture
We know the South Pole region contains ice and may
be rich in other resources based on our observations
from orbit, but, otherwise, it’s a completely unexplored
world…. The South Pole is far from the Apollo landing
sites clustered around the equator, so it will offer us a
new challenge and a new environment to explore as we
build our capabilities to travel farther into space.
On the South Pole, the current target is Shackleton
crater. Measuring 13 miles across and 2.5 miles deep, the
crater’s peaks are exposed to almost continuous sunlight,
while its floors and walls are in near perpetual shadow.
As discovered in recent years, these permanently shadowed craters contain critical stores of water ice, while
the access to sunlight at the peaks is of interest for solar power (until compact nuclear power can be brought
online). As NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has
stressed, we are going back to the Moon to stay, requiring that we learn how to utilize the resources available
on the Moon.
How are we going to get there? NASA’s current plan is
In June of 2020, the first mission, Artemis 1, will use a
Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to send an uncrewed
flight of the Orion spacecraft into an orbit reaching