NASA is just days away from launching Artemis I, the first of several missions that will include mankind’s return to the moon.
On Monday, NASA said that the rocket was ready for its launch. It is the first of several launches as part of the Artemis program, which NASA hopes will prepare mankind to go further than the moon.
With its intended goal to eventually send mankind to Mars, NASA is looking to inspire the next generation of astronauts in the same fashion Apollo did in the 60s and 70s.
“I'm a product of the Apollo generation and look what it did for us. And I cannot wait to see what comes from the Artemis generation because I think it's going to inspire even more than Apollo did,” Bob Cabana, the associate administrator for NASA Headquarters, said.
Late last week, NASA announced potential landing sites for Artemis III, which will be the first manned mission to the moon in more than five decades. The landing sites are located near the lunar south pole, an area NASA believes is rich in resources.
“Several of the proposed sites within the regions are located among some of the oldest parts of the Moon, and together with the permanently shadowed regions, provide the opportunity to learn about the history of the Moon through previously unstudied lunar materials,” said Sarah Noble, Artemis lunar science lead for NASA’s Planetary Science Division.
Artemis I is scheduled to launch on Aug. 29. The next Artemis mission isn’t scheduled until 2024. While Artemis I will be unmanned, Artemis II will send four astronauts on a flyby of the moon. Artemis III is expected to include a manned mission to the surface of the moon.