Artemis 2

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Artemis II
Artemis 2 map october 2021.jpg
Summary of the Artemis II mission plan
NamesArtemis 2
Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2)
Mission typeCrewed lunar flyby
Mission duration10 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftOrion CM-003
Start of mission
Launch dateMay 2024 (planned)[1]
RocketSLS Block 1
Launch siteKennedy, LC-39B[2]
End of mission
Landing sitePacific Ocean (planned)
Flyby of Moon
Distance7,400 km (4,600 mi) (planned)

Artemis 2 (officially Artemis II)[3] is the second scheduled mission of NASA's Artemis program, and the first scheduled crewed mission of NASA's Orion spacecraft, currently planned to be launched by the Space Launch System (SLS) in May 2024.[1] The crewed Orion spacecraft will perform a lunar flyby test and return to Earth. This is planned to be the first crewed spacecraft to travel beyond low Earth orbit since Apollo 17 in 1972.[a] Formerly known as Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), the mission was renamed after the introduction of the Artemis program. Originally, the crewed mission was intended to collect samples from a captured asteroid in lunar orbit by the now canceled robotic Asteroid Redirect Mission.[4]


The Artemis 2 mission plan objective is to send four astronauts in the first crewed Orion MPCV Spacecraft into a lunar flyby for a maximum of 21 days using the Block 1 variant of the Space Launch System. The mission profile is a multi-trans lunar injection (MTLI), or multiple departure burns, and includes a free return trajectory from the Moon. The Orion spacecraft will be sent to a high Earth orbit with a period of roughly 42 hours. During this time the crew will perform various checkouts of the spacecraft's life support systems as well as an in-space rendezvous and proximity operations demonstration using the spent Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) as a target. When Orion reaches perigee once again, it will fire its main engine to complete the TLI maneuver which will send it to a lunar free return trajectory, before returning to Earth.[5][6]


In 2017, Exploration Mission-2 was a projected single-launch mission of a Space Launch System (SLS) Block 1B with an Exploration Upper Stage, lunar Block 1 Orion spacecraft, and a payload insertion of 50.7 t (112,000 lb). The plan was to rendezvous with an asteroid previously placed in lunar orbit by the robotic Asteroid Redirect Mission and have astronauts perform space-walks and gather samples.[7] After the cancellation in April 2017[8] of the Asteroid Redirect Mission, an eight-day mission was proposed with a crew of four astronauts, sent on a free return trajectory around the Moon.[9] Another proposal suggested in 2017 was to take four astronauts aboard Orion on an 8-to-21-day trip around the Moon to deliver the first element of the Deep Space Gateway.[10] In March 2018, it was decided to launch the first Gateway module on a commercial launch vehicle[11] because of delays in building the Mobile Launcher needed to hold the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage.[12] The launcher was selected to be the Falcon Heavy.[13]

Artist's rendition of the Orion spacecraft in lunar orbit


While personnel have not yet been announced for the mission, the four-person crew of Artemis II will include a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut, the first Canadian and non-American to travel beyond low Earth orbit, under the terms of a 2020 treaty between the United States and Canada.[14] Later missions will have international crews including European and Asian astronauts.

Prime crew
Position Astronaut
Lead Astronaut United States TBA, NASA
TBD spaceflight
TBA United States TBA, NASA
TBD spaceflight
TBD spaceflight
TBA United States TBA, NASA
TBD spaceflight

Secondary payloads[edit]

MPCV Stage Adapter for CubeSat spring-loaded dispensers

NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) sought proposals in 2019 from U.S. institutions and U.S. companies to fly their CubeSat missions as secondary payloads aboard the SLS on the Artemis II mission.[15][16] NASA would accept proposals for both six-unit (12 kg (26 lb)) and 12-unit (20 kg (44 lb)) CubeSats.[17] As with the Artemis I mission, the CubeSats flying on Artemis II were to be mounted on the inside of the stage adapter ring between the SLS upper stage and the Orion spacecraft, and will be deployed after Orion separates.[17] Selections were initially planned to be made by February 2020,[15] but the date passed with no official announcement. In October 2021, NASA dropped all secondary payloads from the mission.[18]

Launch date[edit]

During preliminary reviews in 2011, the launch date was placed somewhere between 2019 and 2021, but afterwards the launch date was delayed to 2023 on a Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle.[19][20] As of November 2022, Artemis II is projected to launch in 2024.[1]

Then-planned launch date history
Year Planned launch date
July 2011 August 2021
March 2015 2026
March 2015 2021
September 2015 April 2023
December 2016 August 2021
April 2017 2023
September 2017 2022
March 2018 2023
January 2019 2022
January 2019 June 2022
March 2019 2023
November 2019 Q4 2022
May 2020 2023
July 2020 August 2023
June 2021 June 2023
November 2021 May 2024

Similar missions[edit]

In 1968, the Apollo 8 mission, crewed by astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, was designed to test-fly command and service module beyond low Earth orbit. Although similar to Artemis 2 in that it was crewed and did not land on the Moon, it differed by completing 10 orbits of the Moon.[21] Apollo 13 (1970) was the only Apollo mission that flew past the Moon by a free-return trajectory.

In 2005, the company Space Adventures announced plans to take two tourists within 100 km (62 mi) of the lunar surface using a Soyuz spacecraft piloted by a professional cosmonaut. The mission, named DSE-Alpha, has been priced at US$150 million per seat and is expected to last 8–9 days when scheduled. Company CEO Eric Anderson stated in 2011 that one seat had been sold, but the launch date has continually slipped since the second seat remains unsold as of 2017.[22]

A SpaceX lunar tourism mission was initially proposed for late 2018 and would have been similar to Artemis 2 in crew size, with two space tourists paying for a free-return loop around the Moon and back to Earth, using the Crew Dragon capsule and launched on the Falcon Heavy.[23][24] After the first flight of Falcon Heavy in 2018, SpaceX announced that Falcon Heavy would not be used for crewed flights to focus their future development on Starship and indicated that the lunar mission would more likely be carried out with the Starship.[25][26] On September 14, 2018, SpaceX officially announced that it had signed one of the paying passengers, Yusaku Maezawa, for the #dearMoon project mission using the Starship, scheduled for 2023, and that he would invite 6 to 8 artists to join him.[27][28]


  1. ^ The privately-funded dearMoon project may fly earlier.


  1. ^ a b c Howell, Elizabeth (16 November 2022). Retrieved 30 November 2022. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Hill, Bill (March 2012). "Exploration Systems Development Status" (PDF). NASA Advisory Council. Retrieved 21 July 2012. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Artemis: brand book (Report). Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 2019. NP-2019-07-2735-HQ. MISSION NAMING CONVENTION. While Apollo mission patches used numbers and roman numerals throughout the program, Artemis mission names will use a roman numeral convention. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ Foust, Jeff (25 March 2015). "NASA Selects Boulder Option for Asteroid Redirect Mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  5. ^ NASA's First Flight With Crew Will Mark Important Step on Journey to Mars NASA - Last updated on February 9, 2018 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
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  7. ^ Wall, Mike (10 April 2013). "Inside NASA's Plan to Catch an Asteroid (Bruce Willis Not Required)". TechMediaNetwork. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  8. ^ Jeff Foust (14 June 2017). "NASA closing out Asteroid Redirect Mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  9. ^ Gary Daines, ed. (4 August 2017) [Originally published: December 1, 2016]. "NASA's First Flight With Crew Will Mark Important Step on Journey to Mars". NASA. Retrieved 8 December 2017. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  10. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (6 April 2017). "NASA finally sets goals, missions for SLS – eyes multi-step plan to Mars".
  11. ^ "NASA FY 2019 Budget Overview - P. 14 - "Supports launch of the Power and Propulsion Element on a commercial launch vehicle as the first component of the LOP - Gateway" (PDF). NASA. Retrieved 12 November 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  12. ^ NASA may fly crew into deep space sooner, but there's a price, Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 12 April 2018, Quote: "Without the Exploration Upper Stage, NASA will not be able to fly, in a single flight, crew members and pieces of a deep space gateway it hopes to build near the Moon in the 2020s".
  13. ^ Foust, Jeff (10 February 2021). "NASA selects Falcon Heavy to launch first Gateway elements". SpaceNews. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  14. ^ Connolly, Amanda (16 December 2020). "A Canadian astronaut will be on NASA's Artemis deep space lunar orbit as well the first non American to leave earth orbit". Global News. Retrieved 16 December 2020.
  15. ^ a b Hill, Denise (6 August 2019). "NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative Opens Call for Payloads on Artemis 2 Mission". NASA. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019. NASA is seeking proposals from U.S. small satellite developers to fly their CubeSat missions as secondary payloads aboard the SLS on the Artemis 2 mission under the agency's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  16. ^ Klotz, Irene (5 August 2019). "NASA Scouting Cubesats For Artemis-2 Mission". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Archived from the original on 6 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019. NASA on August 5 released a solicitation for cubesats to ride along with the first crewed flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule, with the caveat that selected projects fill strategic knowledge gaps for future lunar and Mars exploration
  17. ^ a b NASA seeking proposals for cubesats on second SLS launch Jeff Foust, SpaceNews 8 August 2019
  18. ^ "Alabama students forced to pivot satellite design after being dropped from Artemis II". Space Explored. 21 October 2021. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  19. ^ "NASA's Deep Space Exploration System is Coming Together". NASA. 8 March 2019. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  20. ^ Sloss, Philip (28 December 2018). "Crewed Orion spacecraft passes critical design review". Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  21. ^ Charlie Wood (25 February 2017). "Apollo 8 redux: Why NASA may send humans around the Moon, again". The Christian Science Monitor.
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  23. ^ "SpaceX promises a Moon vacation in 2018". The Verge. 3 March 2017 – via YouTube.
  24. ^ Dave Trumbore (27 February 2017). "SpaceX Will Attempt to Send Humans Around the Moon Next Year". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  25. ^ SpaceX no longer planning crewed missions on Falcon Heavy, Jeff Foust, SpaceNews, February 5, 2018
  26. ^ Pasztor, Andy (6 February 2018). "Elon Musk Says SpaceX's New Falcon Heavy Rocket Unlikely to Carry Astronauts". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  27. ^ Eric Ralph (14 September 2018). "SpaceX has signed a private passenger for the first BFR launch around the Moon". Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  28. ^ Grush, Loren (14 September 2018). "SpaceX says it will send someone around the Moon on its future monster rocket". The Verge. Retrieved 15 September 2018.