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Artemis I: We Are Going Back to the Moon!

Artemis I: We Are Going Back to the Moon!

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be launching Artemis I on the 29th of August 2022. The launch will take place at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This will be the first space launch in the Artemis program.

Ever since Apollo 17 humanity has not been back to the Moon. That was the last moon mission in the Apollo program. And that happened on the 7th of December 1972. Hence, 50 years have passed following the last moon mission. During that period of time, most of our space activities revolve around satellite launches, low orbit missions on the International Space Station, and unmanned deep space explorations.

The launch of Artemis I means that we are going back to space. And like the Apollo missions, we are going back to manned space exploration. But this time we are going bigger and farther.

Artemis Program 

Artist’s concept of the Artemis Base Camp. Photo Credit: NASA
Artist’s concept of the Artemis Base Camp. Photo Credit: NASA

The Artemis Program is to establish the first long-term presence on the Moon. Or in simpler terms, NASA wants to create a moon base. The Artemis Base Camp will be like the ones in those science-fiction movies. The camp will be able to support an expedition missions on the lunar surface for one to two-months. Furthermore, the program’s end result is to teach us how to send the first astronauts to Mars. Also, the program will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.

Artemis I

Artemis I Patch Photo Credit: NASA
Artemis I Patch Photo Credit: NASA

Artemis I is the first among three stages of the Artemis program. The following are the primary mission objective of Artemis I. First to demonstrate the capabilities of the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft. Then to carry out the mission as planned. And lastly, ensure a safe return of the Orion spacecraft.

The SLS is the world’s most powerful rocket system that will take Orion to space. While the Orion spacecraft is the vehicle that will transport the astronauts to the Moon. Artemis I will have the Orion spacecraft unmanned. This is done for safety reasons. NASA will be testing the spacecraft and the rockets first before actually letting the astronauts in for Artemis II. NASA does not want to endanger any of their astronauts before having a dry run first.

Artemis I Mission Map. Photo Credit: NASA
Artemis I Mission Map. Photo Credit: NASA

To accomplish the mission Artemis I has to do the following: first, the SLS will carry Orion into Earth’s orbit. Then SLA and Orion will detach from each other. The next part will be Orion traveling 450,000 kilometers from Earth. Then continue to travel another 64,000 kilometers beyond the far side of the Moon. After this, Orion will return back to earth. When Orion safely lands back on earth the mission ends. NASA scientists estimate that the mission would take 42 days, 3 hours, and 20 minutes. And that Orion would have to travel a distance of 2.1 million kilometers by the end of the mission. If everything goes well, this will pave the way for future missions to the Moon, which include landing on it.

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A Day to Be Remembered

Historians will be writing this launch into the pages of history books. This will be humanity’s baby steps before getting to Mars. This is humanity’s one small step that leads us to one giant leap forward into the future.

So, if you want to watch history unfold? Then you can visit NASA’s YouTube channel to watch the launch via live stream for free. The live stream will start on the 29th of August 2022 at 6:30 PM, Philippine Standard Time (GMT+8). The launch window for Artemis I is 8:33 AM EDT to 10:33 AM So, be prepared to wait a while. Because checking all of the systems for launch will take some time.

The 29th of August 2022 will be a special day for everyone. Most especially for us Filipinos. Because the 29th is also National Heroes’ Day. So, let us give thanks to those who have defended our nation… and watch humanity’s last achievement.

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