Artemis: Dates, Plans and Everything We Know About the New Space Mission to Put People on the Moon

The Artemis program is the largest space project today. Learn everything there is to know about the NASA’s next Moon missions.

Artemis Program
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The Artemis program is currently the “largest space project” that is underway. It involves significant technical, financial, and human resources, but that’s not all. The project aims to achieve not only the return to the Moon, but, alongside the Mars missions, also bring the space research back to the forefront of scientific debate in contemporary societies.

The Artemis program is expected to be with us for more than a decade and will be filled with historic events and technological challenges. In this article, you’ll find everything we know about the plans, dates, and delays of the Artemis program, including the SLS rocket, the Orion spacecraft, the Lunar Gateway station, the HLS lunar lander, and the return of humans to the surface of the Moon.

What is the Artemis Program?

Artemis Program 1

The Artemis program is an international space initiative that aims to send “the next man and the first woman” to the Moon, establish a sustainable presence on the lunar surface and in lunar orbit, and create the basis for a lunar economy. The program is led by NASA and has the support of several space agencies, such as the European and Mexican Agencies, as well as many private companies. It’s considered the precursor to NASA’s space program, which aims to send people to Mars in the 2030s.

In practical terms, Artemis is a large-scale space infrastructure project. Over the next decade, the program will develop and deploy various rovers, robotic landers, satellites, space stations, and essential lunar base infrastructure. It will also carry the first equipment to start using the Moon’s resources. Artemis is the most significant step towards effectively “colonizing” the Moon.

Artemis Astronauts

NASA has already selected the members of its next mission, although they will not set foot on the Moon.

  • Christina Hammock Koch (Mission Specialist I): NASA astronaut since 2013. She has been a flight engineer on three missions of the International Space Station. She hails from Michigan and has received numerous awards, including the Neil Armstrong Award of Excellence and the US Congress Antarctic Service Medal. Koch will be the first woman on a lunar mission and already holds the record for the most consecutive days in space (328).
  • Jeremy Roger Hansen (Mission Specialist II): Canadian astronaut from London who began his pilot training at the age of 12 in the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron. He is a CSA representative and has experience flying military fighters. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Hansen will be the first Canadian on a lunar mission.
  • Victor J. Glover, Jr (Pilot): NASA astronaut since 2013. He was second-in-command on SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission. He is also an experienced military pilot with 3,000 accumulated flight hours. Glover will be the first person of African descent to fly a lunar mission. He has received several awards, including the Defense Superior Service Medal and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.
  • G. Reid Wiseman (Commander): NASA astronaut since 2009. He has experience aboard the ISS for Expedition 41 in 2014. He broke a productivity record on this mission, spending 82 hours of work in a single week on various experiments. They performed a total of 300 tests on this mission. A Maryland-born, he holds several medals of distinction in the military.

What Are the Artemis Missions?

The Artemis program is centered around a set of primary missions named ‘SLS’ (‘Space Launch System’, the first lunar rocket designed for human missions to be launched by NASA since the Saturn V). In order to successfully complete these missions, a number of logistics and support missions are required to establish the necessary infrastructure for the lunar base, such as robotic landers and the Lunar Gateway.







Artemis I

Lunar orbit

November 16, 2022

SLS Block 1


13 satellites

First SLS and Orion launch

Artemis II

Lunar orbit


SLS Block 1


First crew flight. Mission similar to Apollo 8

Artemis III

Lunar surface


SLS Block 1B


Lunar landing

Artemis IV

Lunar orbit

Lunar surface


SLS Block 1B



Lunar Gateway

Lunar landing with the Lunar Gateway station

Artemis V-IX

Lunar orbit

Lunar surface


SLS Block 1B

Habitat modules, rovers, scientific instruments and resource extraction tools

Start and preparation for future periodic missions

What Happened to Artemis I?

Artemis Program

Finally, we have some exciting news to share. After several attempts and a long delay, the US space agency has managed to successfully launch the mission. On November 16, 2022, at 01:47 local time, the largest rocket ever built (the SLS), carrying the Orion capsule, took off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

However, during liftoff, one of the engines failed, creating some issues. Despite this, the mission proceeded without any further problems. In just under a month, the spacecraft managed to travel 2.1 million kilometers, orbit the moon, and safely return the Orion capsule back to Earth - which was the most critical part of the mission.

One of the primary goals of Artemis I was to test whether the Orion capsule’s shield would be able to protect the spacecraft and its occupants during the atmospheric re-entry maneuver. Following NASA’s initial plan, the spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific, off the Californian coast, at 12:39 pm EST. Now, the team will analyze the data and draw all possible lessons for Artemis II, the first manned trip of the program that will return us to the Moon.

What is NASA’s Next Artemis Program Mission?

Artemis I mission aims to “demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery” before launching Artemis II, the first manned flight.

On paper, Artemis II is almost identical to Artemis I but with a crew and was planned for 2024. However, it is uncertain whether the delays of Artemis I will cause delays for this mission as well. In 2025, Artemis II should carry a crew to the Moon.

In the meantime, several auxiliary missions will help develop the necessary infrastructure not only for the Artemis III landing but also to pave the way for a long-term human presence on the satellite and consolidate the Moon’s role as a springboard for sending astronauts to Mars.

What is SLS?

Artemis Program

The SLS Block 1 is currently the world’s most powerful launcher with a completed design, standing at a towering height of 98.3 meters and having a minimum capacity of 70 tons in low orbit. This will be the Space Launch System’s first version and will be responsible for sending the first complete Orion capsule, equipped with a European service module, on a flight around the Moon on Artemis I. Additionally, it will also be used for the Artemis II mission, which will carry four astronauts and orbit around the Moon, similar to the Apollo 8 mission.

But this is just the beginning. The SLS is part of a program that aims to develop high-capacity rockets to ensure a continuous connection with the Moon. The SLS Block 1B is expected to be operational by Artemis III. However, the launch is currently in jeopardy due to a hydrogen leak in the SLS rocket in recent days.

When Will We Land on the Moon Again?

According to recent reports, the Artemis program which aims to send a human being to the Moon is likely to be delayed. The third mission, Artemis III, was expected to be ready by late 2024 or early 2025, but this timeline appears to have been pushed further.

A leaked schedule revealed three different scenarios in early July 2022. The “baseline plan,” which we already know, plans for Artemis 3 to launch in 2025, followed by Artemis 4 in 2027 and Artemis 9 in 2032. However, two new logistics missions, Artemis 10 and 11, have been added in 2033 and 2034.

Apart from the baseline plan, two new schedules have been introduced: the cadence plan and the content plan. The cadence one emphasizes the regularity of launches and includes a new Artemis 3.5 mission to be launched in 2027.

On the other hand, the content schedule prioritizes the release of missions as they become ready. Both schedules delay Artemis 2 to 2025, with Artemis 4 scheduled for 2027 or 2029 and Artemis 8 between 2033 and 2034. The slightly more accelerated content calendar adds the Artemis 9 mission in 2034.

Who Will Travel to the Moon?

On January 13, 2019, NASA introduced the astronauts who will make up the mission after testing more than 18,000 candidates. The group consists of 6 women and 7 men:

  • Kayla Barron (1987): Lieutenant, U.S. Navy
  • Zena Cardman (1987): Biologist
  • Raja Chari (1977): Colonel, U.S. Air Force
  • Matthew Dominick(1981): Commander, U.S. Navy
  • Bob Hines (1975): Research Pilot, NASA
  • Warren Hoburg (1985): Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jonny Kim (1984): Lieutenant, U.S. Navy Medical Corps, former U.S. Navy SEAL
  • Robb Kulin (1983): Launch Chief Engineer, SpaceX (resigned in August 2018 before completing training)
  • Jasmin Moghbeli (1983): Pilot, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Loral O'Hara (1983): Research Engineer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Frank Rubio (1975): Colonel, U.S. Army
  • Jessica Watkins (1988): Geologist, Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology

Other agencies may submit their own candidates. However, it is unknown who will travel on each mission and who will be the first woman to set foot on the Moon.

What is the Lunar Gateway?

Artemis Program

With the signing of the first contract for the construction of HALO, the Lunar Gateway module, the Artemis is making steady progress. If all goes according to plan, the Lunar Gateway will be a a space station that will serve as an orbital platform on the Moon. This station will play a crucial role in supporting the exploration and future colonization of the Moon, enabling cost-effective communication between the Moon and the Earth.

How Much Does the Artemis Program Cost?

The cost of the program has been a matter of concern. A 2021 report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General criticized NASA was unable to estimate it accurately. However, it did estimate to have cost $93 billion by 2025, with the first four Artemis missions costing around $4.1 billion each. This cost includes $2.2 billion for the SLS, $1.3 billion for the Orion spacecraft, and the remaining amount for the launch infrastructure.

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