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|Purpose||Crewed lunar exploration|
|Cost||$50 billion (2024; estimate)|
|First flight||Exploration Flight Test 1|
|Launch site(s)||Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39|
|Crew vehicle||Orion MPCV|
|Launch vehicle(s)||Space Launch System|
|Part of a series of articles on the|
The Artemis program is an ongoing crewed spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), American commercial spaceflight companies and international partners, with the goal of landing the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface by 2024. Artemis would be the first step towards the long-term goal of establishing a "sustainable" American presence on the Moon, lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy, and eventually sending humans to Mars.
Mandated by Space Policy Directive 1 in 2017, the lunar campaign was created and will utilize various spacecraft such as Orion, the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway space station, and commercially-developed lunar landers. The Space Launch System will serve as the primary launch vehicle for Orion, while commercial launch vehicles are planned for use to launch various other elements of the campaign. The Trump administration proposed an extra $1.6 billion on top of the already proposed $21 billion for the 2020 fiscal year. The funding is yet to be approved by Congress.
The current version of the Artemis program incorporates several major components of other cancelled NASA projects such as the Constellation program and the Asteroid Redirect Mission. NASA originally conceived a return to the Moon by 2020 during the Constellation program which ran from 2006 through 2009. Originally proposed by President George W. Bush in the NASA Authorization Act of 2005. Constellation included the development of two heavy lift launch vehicles named Ares I and Ares V and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.
Development of the project continued until in 2008 when president Barack Obama was elected. He established the Augustine Committee to determine how viable a Moon landing was by 2020 with the current budget. The committee discovered that the project was massively underfunded and that a 2020 Moon landing was impossible. The committee also outlined 3 outlines for future missions.
The project was put on hold in 2009 and the Obama administration cancelled funding for Constellation in the 2011 United States federal budget. On April 15, 2010, President Obama spoke at the Kennedy Space Center announcing the administration's plans for NASA. None of the 3 plans outlined in the Committee's final report were completely selected.
President Obama cancelled the Constellation program and rejected immediate plans to return to the Moon on the premise that the current plan had become nonviable. He instead promised $6 billion in additional funding and called for development of a new heavy lift rocket program to be ready for construction by 2015 with crewed missions to Mars orbit by the mid-2030s. The Obama administration released its new formal space policy on June 28, 2010, in which it also reversed the Bush policy's rejection of international agreements to curb the militarization of space, saying that it would "consider proposals and concepts for arms control measures if they are equitable, effectively verifiable and enhance the national security of the United States and its allies.
On June 30, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to re-establish the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence. The Trump administration's first budget request keeps Obama-era human spaceflight programs in place: commercial spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, the government-owned Space Launch System, and the Orion crew capsule for deep space missions, while reducing Earth science research and calling for the elimination of NASA's education office.
On December 11, 2017, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, a change in national space policy that provides for a U.S.-led, integrated program with private sector partners for a human return to the Moon, followed by missions to Mars and beyond. The policy calls for the NASA administrator to "lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities." The effort will more effectively organize government, private industry, and international efforts toward returning humans on the Moon, and will lay the foundation that will eventually enable human exploration of Mars.
The President stated "The directive I am signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery." "It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use. This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints -- we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, to many worlds beyond."
On March 26, 2019, Vice President Mike Pence announced that NASA's Moon landing goal would be accelerated by 4 years with a planned landing in 2024. On May 14, 2019, Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the name of the new lunar program to be Artemis, named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.
With the aim of sending small lander missions to the lunar surface as a precursor to human exploration, NASA established the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program in March 2018. The program was based on responses to a request for information issued by NASA in May 2017 into the capability of American commercial providers to launch payloads to the Moon. Under the program, the agency will fund commercial providers capable of delivering lunar landers with scientific payloads through indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contracts. It will qualify proposals capable of delivering at least 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of payload by the end of 2021. Proposals for mid-sized landers capable of delivering between 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) and 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of cargo for launch beyond 2021 will also be considered by NASA.
This new focus on commercial landers led to the cancellation of the Resource Prospector mission, which was also intended to be a precursor to human exploration, as well as the first polar lunar lander and the first robotic American lunar rover, a few days before a draft request for proposals for the CLPS program was published by NASA on 27 April 2018. By the time of its cancellation, US$100 million had been spent on its development, and various technologies intended for the rover, such as scientific instruments, will be repurposed for missions selected for launch under the CLPS program. The deadline for submissions for the first round of the program occurred on 9 October 2018. The Artemis-7 lander by Draper, a not-for-profit engineering firm previously involved in the Apollo program, was one of the proposals submitted.
While Lockheed Martin hired commercial space developer NanoRacks to study commercial opportunities for cargo delivery using the Orion spacecraft, at the 69th International Astronautical Congress in October 2018, Lockheed Martin presented their concept (Lockheed Martin Lunar Lander) for a reusable lunar lander that would shuttle astronauts between the lunar surface and the Gateway, incorporating various technologies developed by Lockheed for the Orion spacecraft. Lockheed Martin intends to submit its proposal when NASA starts to solicit proposals for larger crewed lunar landers to follow the CLPS program in the near future.
The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) is an American-European interplanetary spacecraft intended to carry a crew of four astronauts to destinations at or beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) as part of the Artemis program. Currently under development by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) for launch on the Space Launch System, Orion is intended to facilitate human exploration of the Moon, asteroids and of Mars and to retrieve crew or supplies from the International Space Station if needed. 
Originally, NASA had intended to build the Gateway as part of the now cancelled Asteroid Redirect Mission. But it has since been repurposed to support NASA's Artemis program. It will serve as a waypoint for the Orion MPCV and lunar lander as well as a secondary propulsion system to help change orbits and enable landings anywhere on the Moon. By 2024, the orbiting Gateway will be in its early assembly stage, and by then it will be made up of the 'Power and Propulsion Element' and a small habitat called Utilization Module. The Gateway components and modules will be constructed by commercial companies. 
Draper's Artemis-7 lander, one of many proposed for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program, would deliver scientific payloads to the lunar surface. Named after Artemis of greek mythology and designated as Draper's seventh flight to the Moon, the lander would be designed by Japanese developers ispace, and manufactured by American defense contractor General Atomics, while operations of the lander and its payload would be handled by Draper.
|Crewed Lunar Lander Concept (1:03) by Lockheed Martin Space Systems|
A proposed crewed lunar lander by Lockheed Martin Space Systems is planned to be a reusable, single-stage system that would transport up to four astronauts and an additional 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of cargo between the Gateway and the lunar surface, where it could last up to two weeks without the need to return to the Gateway to refuel. It would have a dry mass of 24 short tons (22,000 kilograms), comparatively heavier than the 4.7 short tons (4,300 kilograms) dry mass of the Apollo Lunar Module, and would have an impulse (∆v) capacity of 5 kilometres per second (3.1 miles per second). The lander's engines would use liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as a propellant, and could be refueled on the lunar surface using lunar water. Many technologies developed by Lockheed Martin for the Orion spacecraft are planned to be reused in the lander, such as instruments and module designs, helping to lower its development and manufacturing cost. Space Systems' Vice President Lisa Callahan described the proposal as a "versatile, powerful lander that can be built quickly and affordably, and would be capable of establishing lunar colonies, delivering commercial and scientific payloads, and conducting "extraordinary exploration of the Moon". Another proposal is a stretched tank version of Blue Origin's Blue Moon lander with an added ascent stage.
In May 2019 NASA announced 11 short contracts for transfer vehicle studies, descent element studies, descent element prototypes, refueling element studies and refueling prototypes to companies such as Lockheed Martin, Blue Origin, and SpaceX.
Space Launch System
The Space Launch System (SLS) is an American Space Shuttle-derived super heavy-lift expendable launch vehicle. It is a primary part of NASA's deep space exploration plans, including the Artemis crewed missions to the Moon, and could also serve as part of a future program to Mars. SLS follows the cancellation of the Constellation program and is to replace the retired Space Shuttle. The SLS is to be the most powerful rocket in existence with a total thrust greater than that of the Saturn V, although Saturn V could carry a greater payload mass.
Three versions of the SLS launch vehicle are planned: Block 1, Block 1B, and Block 2. Each would use the same core stage with four main engines, but Block 1B would feature a more powerful second stage called the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), and Block 2 would combine the EUS with upgraded boosters. Block 1 has a baseline LEO payload capacity of 95 metric tons (105 short tons) and Block 1B would have a baseline of 105 metric tons (116 short tons). The proposed Block 2 would have had a lift capacity of 130 metric tons (140 short tons), which is similar to that of the Saturn V. Some sources state this would make the SLS the most capable heavy lift vehicle built; although the Saturn V lifted approximately 140 metric tons (150 short tons) to LEO in the Apollo 17 mission.
On July 31, 2013, the SLS passed the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The review encompassed all aspects of the SLS's design, not only the rocket and boosters but also ground support and logistical arrangements. On August 7, 2014 the SLS Block 1 passed a milestone known as Key Decision Point C and entered full-scale development, with an estimated launch date of November 2018. In April 2017, NASA announced that the schedule for the maiden flight would slip to 2019. In November 2017, the Artemis 1 maiden flight slipped further to June 2020.
In March, 2019, the Trump Administration released it's Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Request for NASA. This budget did not include any money for the Block 1B and Block 2 variants of SLS. It is uncertain whether these future variants of SLS will be developed. Several launches previously planned for the SLS Block 1B are now expected to fly on commercial launcher vehicles such as Falcon Heavy, New Glenn, Omega, and Vulcan. However, the recent budget increase of 1.6 billion dollars towards SLS, Orion, and crewed landers along with the launch manifest seem to indicate support of the development of Block 1B, debuting one year later than expected during Artemis 4. The Block 1B will be used mainly for co manifested crew transfers and logistic rather than constructing the Gateway. An uncrewed Block 1B is planned to launch the Lunar Surface Asset in 2028, the first lunar outpost of the Artemis program. Block 2 development will most likely start in the mid too late 2020s, after NASA is regularly visiting the lunar surface and shifts focus towards Mars.
The program schedule is in its early planning phase, and before the first crewed landing takes place, it may take up to 11 launches to deploy the Gateway, lander modules, and Orion. The first crewed landing of this program will target the lunar south pole. NASA estimates a total of 37 launches in total between 2019 and 2028, using both commercial launchers and the SLS.
||4h, 24m||Uncrewed orbital test flight of the Orion MPCV and its reaction control system; two orbits around Earth, reaching an apogee of 5,800 kilometres (3,600 mi) before making a high-energy reentry at 32,000 kilometres per hour (20,000 mph).|
|AA-2||N/A||Orion Abort Test Booster||~3m||Uncrewed test of the Orion Launch Abort System, using a 10,000-kilogram (22,000 lb) test article at maximum aerodynamic load.|
||N/A||SLS Block 1||~25d||Uncrewed lunar orbital test flight of Orion; 10 days in a distant retrograde orbit of 60,000 kilometres (37,000 mi) around the Moon before returning to Earth.|
||TBA||SLS Block 1||~9d||Crewed cislunar test flight of Orion with four astronauts; free-return flyby of the Moon at a distance of 8,900 kilometres (5,500 mi).|
||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d||Crewed flight to the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway and landing at the South Pole–Aitken basin with four astronauts.|
||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d||Crewed flight to the Gateway to deliver the U.S. Habitation module; lunar landing to test ISRU and Nuclear surface power.|
||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d||Crewed flight to the Gateway to deliver a logistics module; first lunar landing with reusable ascent and transfer stages and further ISRU tsts.|
||TBA||SLS Block 1B||~30d||Crewed flight to the Gateway to deliver a logistics module and Canadarm-3; second landing with reusable lander and deployment of Lunar Surface Assets.|
||N/A||SLS Block 1B Cargo||~9d||Uncrewed lunar landing of the Lunar Surface Asset.|
||TBA||SLS Block 1B||>60d||Crewed flight to the Gateway to deliver a logistics module; extended surface mission at the Lunar Surface Asset.|
- Serial number displayed in parentheses.
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NASA’s new Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) effort to award contracts to provide capabilities as soon as 2019.
- Foust, Jeff (7 September 2017). "NASA preparing call for proposals for commercial lunar landers". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
That solicitation, he said, is being informed by responses the agency received from an RFI it issued in early May. That RFI sought details from companies about their ability to deliver “instruments, experiments, or other payloads” through the next decade to support NASA’s science, exploration and technology development needs.
- Foust, Jeff (28 April 2018). "NASA emphasizes commercial lunar lander plans with Resource Prospector cancellation". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
...selected but unspecified instruments from RP will instead be flown on future commercial lunar lander missions under a new Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program. NASA released a draft request for proposals for that program April 27. [...] Under CLPS, NASA plans to issue multiple indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contracts to companies capable of delivering payloads to the lunar surface. Companies would have to demonstrate their ability to land at least 10 kilograms of payload on the lunar surface by the end of 2021.
- Werner, Debra (24 May 2018). "NASA to begin buying rides on commercial lunar landers by year's end". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
NASA also will look for payloads for the miniature landers in addition to landers capable of delivering 500 to 1,000 kilograms to the surface of the Moon.
- Papenfuss, Mary (29 April 2018). "NASA Terminates Last Moon Rover After Trump Touts New Era Of Lunar Exploration". HuffPost. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
The rover, which was being designed for lunar missions in the early 2020s, was killed as NASA revealed plans to cultivate "commercial partners" for moon exploration.
- Berger, Eric (27 April 2018). "New NASA leader faces an early test on his commitment to Moon landings". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
...the prospector has not been optimized for science—but rather as a precursor for human exploration.
- Sheridan, Kerry (28 April 2018). "Scientists shocked as NASA cuts only moon rover". Phys.org. Archived from the original on 28 April 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
We now understand RP was cancelled on 23 April 2018 [...] The robotic rover was being built as the world's only vehicle aimed at exploring the polar region of the Moon [...] and the first ever US robotic rover on the surface of the Moon.
- Stuckey, Alex (5 June 2018). "NASA spent $100 million on much-anticipated lunar rover before scrapping it in April". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
NASA's overall Resource Prospector work toward risk reduction activities to advance instrument developments, component technologies including rover components, and innovation mission operations concepts will help inform future missions...
- Koren, Marina (27 September 2018). "The Moon Is Open for Business". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
...some of the instruments that were designed for the mission could be used in commercially funded efforts.
- Foust, Jeff (10 October 2018). "Draper bids on NASA commercial lunar lander competition". SpaceNews. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
Draper announced Oct. 10 that the not-for-profit research and development company has submitted a proposal to NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program for a small robotic lunar lander capable of carrying scientific payloads to the lunar surface. Proposals for the initial round of the CLPS program were due to NASA Oct. 9. [...] The organization noted that the “7” in Artemis-7 reflects that this will be Draper’s seventh lunar landing mission, after the six Apollo lunar landings.
- Berger, Eric (4 October 2018). "The Orion spacecraft may carry more than NASA missions to the Moon". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
Lockheed Martin, which is manufacturing the Orion spacecraft for NASA's deep space missions, plans to study whether some commercial payloads could fly along for the ride toward the Moon. [...] Lockheed has partnered with NanoRacks, a company that has helped to commercialize access to the International Space Station, to complete a privately funded study to determine the level of commercial interest in such an opportunity.
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...Lockheed Martin’s concept for a reusable lunar lander [...] was presented today at the 69th annual International Astronautical Congress [...] In its initial configuration, the lander would have an impulse (delta-v) capacity of 5 km/s...
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The lander design leverages many technologies from the Orion capsule, which Lockheed is building for NASA. [...] The lander would be refueled between missions — eventually, perhaps, with propellant derived from water ice extracted from the Moon or asteroids.
- Grush 2018, "In the meantime, NASA has mentioned that it will solicit proposals someday for larger landers that could potentially carry humans. Lockheed hopes to submit this design concept once the final solicitations are released."
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ispace will be in charge of the overall design of the vehicle, which the team has named Artemis-7 after the Greek goddess of the Moon. [...] Draper will also provide management and serve as the prime contractor of the entire four-company team. [...] In order to actually build these vehicles, the companies are turning to General Atomics, a defense contractor...
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Draper, as prime contractor, will lead a team that brings relevant experience in space, with partners that include General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, ISpace and Spaceflight Industries.
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...the lunar lander would carry a crew of four astronauts and an additional 2,000 pounds of payload cargo to the surface of the Moon where it could stay for up to two weeks before returning to the Gateway [...] would weigh 24 tons empty [...] the expendable lunar lander that NASA used during the Apollo program carried two astronauts and weighed 4.7 tons without propellant.
- Grush 2018, "Lockheed’s spacecraft is specifically designed to transport people to and from a space station — hailed as the Gateway — that NASA hopes to build in orbit around the Moon."
- Grush 2018, "...Lockheed says there is a possibility that the lander could run on fuel collected on the lunar surface one day. The lander’s engines are meant to run on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen..."
- Grush 2018, "Lockheed also hopes to leverage what it has learned from building Orion to help build this vehicle as well and lower costs [...] the company plans to use some of the same instruments as Orion [...] some of the large curved pieces of Orion could also be used on the lander, and Lockheed’s suppliers already have existing machinery to make those pieces..."
- Lockheed Martin (3 October 2018). "Lockheed Martin Reveals New Human Lunar Lander Concept". PRNewswire. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
This is a concept that takes full advantage of both the Gateway and existing technologies to create a versatile, powerful lander that can be built quickly and affordably. This lander could be used to establish a surface base, deliver scientific or commercial cargo, and conduct extraordinary exploration of the Moon.
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- NASA's full Artemis plan revealed: 37 launches and a lunar outpost. Eric Berger, Ars Technica. 20 May 2019.
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Orion's key systems were put to the test during the flight, which launched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy rocket [...] the craft hit Earth's atmosphere as the capsule was flying through space at about 20,000 mph (32,000 km/h).
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The first orbital test flight of NASA’s Orion crew capsule will lift off on top of a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral]s Complex 37B launch pad. The rocket will send the unmanned crew module 3,600 miles above Earth...
- Johnson Space Center (November 2017). "Ascent Abort Flight Test-2" (PDF). National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Retrieved 17 October 2018.
In April 2019, Orion is scheduled to undergo a full-stress test of the LAS, called Ascent Abort Test 2 (AA-2), where a booster provided by Orbital ATK will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, carrying a fully functional LAS and a 22,000-pound Orion test vehicle...
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In the Ascent Abort-2 test, NASA will verify that the Orion spacecraft's launch abort system can steer the capsule and astronauts inside it to safety in the event of an issue with the Space Launch System rocket when the spacecraft is under the highest aerodynamic loads it will experience during ascent...
- Hill 2018, Page 2, "The first uncrewed, integrated flight test of NASA's Orion spacecraft [...] Enter Distant Retrograde Orbit for next 6–10 days [...] 37,000 miles from the surface of the Moon [...] Mission duration: 25.5 days"
- Hill 2018, Page 3, "Crewed Hybrid Free Return Trajectory, demonstrating crewed flight and spacecraft systems performance beyond Low Earth orbit (LEO) [...] lunar fly-by 4,800 nmi [...] 4 astronauts [...] Mission duration: 9 days"
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