Artemis Space Mission To Moon “A Stepping-Stone” to Mars and Beyond

The last time that humans visited the moon was in 1999.

But when NASA’s Artemis 1 mission launches on Monday, the moon is more like a station.

“It is really to discover how we can get further,” stated Isabelle Tremblay, Canadian Space Agency. Tremblay plays a major role in Artemis’ missions. It’s to discover how we can get to Mars .”

Artemis 1 was the first of a series to create a lunar orbiting base from which crews could explore the solar system. The mission is to deposit 10 scientific satellites in lunar orbits, but the main thrust is to test NASA’s new launch system and Orion spacecraft for Artemis 2.

This is where things really get interesting. Artemis 2 is scheduled for spring 2024, and would mark the first crewed mission on the moon since Apollo’s last mission half a century ago.

” There will for certain be a Canadian in the crew,” Tremblay stated.

Artemis 2 and Artemis 3 will orbit the moon. The Artemis missions are designed to reach beyond Earth’s satellite and build the Lunar Gateway. This small satellite orbiting around the moon could be used to launch future missions to Mars.

This is where Canada will make its main contribution to Artemis. A third generation of Canadarm, the famous robotic Canadarm will be featured in Gateway.

Canadarm 3 actually offers two hands. One hand can repair the other. The Gateway will be maintained, repaired, and inspected by the Gateway. It can also snag and adjust Gateway’s modules and help with spacewalks. The Gateway will operate remotely and independently, on its own.

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Contributions like the Canadarm make it so prominent in space exploration. Tremblay stated.

” We always claim that we punch higher than our weight .”

Aside from the Canadarm technology, Canadian science has developed the machinery to aim NASA’s James Webb space telescope. It beams incredible images of galaxies that are over a billion years old back to Earth.

Canada’s contribution to the US$10-billion James Webb was $178 million for design and build and $16.5 million in science support, up to 2021 — and it gets about five per cent of the telescope’s viewing time.

Canadian science also contributes in many other ways.

Scientists from NASA and companies in the private sector are participating in an international challenge to produce healthy, tasty food that can grow in space. Space medicine is also being developed by others.

The University of British Columbia’s experiment on Artemis 1 focuses on the effects of deep space radiation on yeast cells and algal cells. These could then be used to grow food and fuel.

Canadarm 3 will cost $1.9 billion in total over 24 year.

It is a great investment, according to Tremblay.

There are many technical and scientific side effects for people who have left Earth. Tremblay stated that space exploration could help address challenges like food security or health care.

Commercial possibilities may also be available.

” The moon is now a strategic goal,” stated Tremblay. There may not be enough resources to get further but resources may still be available that could be useful .”

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Artemis 1 will be in space up to 42days, orbiting the moon and covering more than 2 million km.

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But this is only the beginning of Artemis’ challenge to the great black beyond.

” The moon is a step-stone to Mars,” Tremblay stated. It’s on the moon that we can go further .”

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