NASA is going to land its first woman and its next man on the Moon by 2024 as part of its Artemis Program.
Updates of the program have been posted online publicly this month, outlining all details of the upcoming program's four phases, which kickstarts next year. The first mission will see two flight tests of NASA's Orion and SLS rocket together around the Moon — this will be an unmanned launch.
If all goes to plan, the official Artemis Phase IV mission will launch its very first woman astronaut and next man astronaut together to land on the Moon in 2024, to carry out experiments and gather information about our Moon.
NASA's new and powerful rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion spacecraft are getting closer and closer to their dual launch date. Orion is simply awaiting a few more critical tests, including a hot fire test this autumn before its ready to go.
So far, the first Artemis mission, known as Artemis I, is on track to launch in 2021, which will go around the Moon and ensure its performance, life support, and communication capabilities all function properly, as per NASA's press release.
Following the success of Artemis I, the Artemis II mission will launch with crew in 2023.
The updated Artemis Plan outlines a new test that will happen during Artemis II, which will assess Orion's capabilities through tests that we can't conduct on the ground. The tests will be useful for when Artemis III needs to undock in the lunar orbit.
Next up will be Artemis III, which will see astronauts landing for the first time ever on the Moon's south pole.
New and improved spacesuits will enable the astronauts on the Moon to move with more flexibility and ease compared with the first, and so far last, astronauts to carry out a lunar mission — Apollo 11 in 1969.
An exciting time lies ahead for NASA as well as humanity.