NASA revealed this week that it plans to send a woman to the moon for the first time in 2024.
The space agency this week shared the Artemis Plan, describing the first lunar mission since 1972 aimed at sending a man and the first woman to Earth’s nearest neighbour.
“Sending human explorers 250,000 miles to the Moon, then 140 million miles to Mars, requires a bold vision, effective program management, funding for modern systems development and mission operations, and support from all corners of our great nation as well as our partners across the globe,” NASA said in the plan’s introduction, which explained that the agency has been “fine-tuning” moon exploration methods over the years.
NASA said the multi-pronged Artemis plan shows it is “focused on achieving the goal of an initial human landing by 2024 with acceptable technical risks, while simultaneously working toward sustainable lunar exploration in the mid- to late 2020s.”
The choice for 2024 is not “arbitrary,” but rather the “most ambitious date possible, and our success at the Moon, and later, at Mars, will be grounded in our national goals and robust capabilities,” NASA explained.
NASA’s first modern lunar mission, Artemis 1, is slated for 2021 sans astronauts, and Artemis II is planned to fly in 2023 with a crew. Artemis III aims to land the first woman and a man on the moon in 2024.
“When Artemis III lands the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024, America will demonstrate a new level of global space leadership,” NASA said in the Artemis plan. “With lunar exploration capability re-established, NASA and the world will be ready to build a sustained presence on the lunar surface in preparation for human exploration of Mars.”
OK then. Where do we sign up?