Artemis II-2

Looks like we’re going back to the Moon, again. NASA has been in the position before – ramping up for a Moon shot, then winding down as political focus moves to other projects. This time I think it’s a GO.

Artemis: Daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. Fitting, as the Artemis project will place the first female astronaut on the Moon. We’re still a culture where men do stuff first, then “invite” women to participate. Someday…

Technology and materials have changed since 1969. My phone has computing power unimaginable in 1969. Computer technology was in its childhood. 56K memory was considered massive. The computer on board Apollo missions (Apollo Guidance Computer) was hard programed – the operating system and most applications were integral Read-Only-Memory aka Core Rope Memory.

The command module for Artemis, named Orion, will hold four astronaut’s vs 3 with Apollo.

Artemis has been developed as a sustainable, continuing base for lunar exploration and habitation. Modern, lightweight, and strong materials have made this possible.

The first step in building a sustainable lunar base is setting up what’s called the Gateway. The Gateway will be an orbiting platform for housing the astronauts, with a reusable lunar lander module. Astronauts will make trips to the lunar surface from this Gateway. Planned for deployment in late 2023, the Gateway will be made of several components: The Power and Propulsion Element (PPE), the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), and a commercially developed lunar lander. Commercial launches with supplies will prepare and sustain the Gateway for future Artemis missions.

As Artemis astronauts reach the Moon, they will dock their Orion module with the Gateway, transfer into the HALO and begin their work, a different view from this lunar space station.

This is just the beginning! Other space agencies are on board and developing modules for continued and long-term human presence on the lunar surface.

The first team of Artemis astronauts is ready and chomping at the bit, but not impatiently. They, like all astronauts before, know patience is critical and preparation crucial. While Artemis II will not be a lunar landing mission, it will test all the components and maneuvers Artemis III will need for its planned lunar surface adventure. All except the landing itself, that will still be a relatively new maneuver and test of systems.

The Artemis II team:

Reid Wiseman, Commander: Master’s degree of Systems Engineering, Naval fighter pilot, test pilot, astronaut on the Russian Soyuz and ISS, two spacewalks.

Victor Glover, Pilot: Engineer, Naval fighter pilot, Air Force test pilot, ISS astronaut, four spacewalks

Christina Koch, Mission Specialist: Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, research in Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, and American Samoa, ISS astronaut, six spacewalks.

Jeremy Hansen (Canada), Mission Specialist: Master’s in physics, fighter pilot, Canadian Space Agency astronaut.

What’s in the Sky?

Check out a couple of interesting ISS passes.

04/17; 06:27 am CDT; South: Moving ENE along the horizon past Saturn and the crescent Moon.

04/19; 06:20 am CDT; South southwest: Moving NE, it passes through Scorpius, Sagittarius, Pegasus, and Andromeda.