Artemis is approaching


Brian Trefry, Journalist

The last time humanity has touched the surface of the moon was almost fifty years ago. Within that time, we have seen a picture of a black hole and other planets. But one of the biggest things we haven’t done yet is landing a man (or woman) on the surface of Mars. The red planet is only a fraction of the Earth, yet it is supposed to be Earth-like in its early ages. Recently NASA stated that they wanted to demonstrate “NASA’s commitment to establishing a sustainable presence at the Moon to bring back new knowledge and prepare for sending astronauts to Mars.” But what do they mean? 

Meet Artemis, or more importantly the SLS (Space Launch System). The SLS is the largest launch system ever designed. The rocket that housed Apollo 11 (the first lunar landing) was over 363 feet tall.The SLS will be over 384 feet tall making the largest (federal) rocket, only falling short to SpaceX’s BFR at 387 feet tall.  The Artemis project is NASA’s new groundbreaking project. Artemis plans on establishing a way-point between the Moon and Earth, and later,  between Earth and Mars.

But the space between Earth and the Moon is only 238,900 miles, while Earth to Mars is almost 142 Million Miles. But would you want to be apart of the first mission to send humans to the red planet? If asked Mrs. Latimer, an IHS teacher, stated with certainty “absolutely not, everything there wants to kill you. But if you asked my Husband, he would scream at the chance.”  I later asked, “What if you just appeared on Mars, with the ability to go back, would you?” Mrs Latimer gladly states, “If I could come back whenever I wanted, 100% I would go.” Noah Kravits is a Junior in High school and if asked anything about NASA he would give you a full response. When asked about whether or not he would travel to Mars he states, “Of course, who wouldn’t want to have a chance to better ourselves.” The idea of exploring the unknown is a fundamental desire; it is primal. 

The flaw in space exploration, most importantly the Artemis Project, is its hefty price tag, at over 21 billion U.S dollars. The price tag is per rocket, might I add. As a biology and science teacher, Mrs Latimer understands that yes, space exploration is worth the money. However, she thinks that there are more pressing matters like the threat of Climate Change, which should be prioritized. Mrs Latimer agreed that going to the Moon is “important” but humanity’s eyes should set their sights on Mars.  Noah states that the price is huge and it would be groundbreaking, but there are more pressing matters to fight against.

The greatest benefit of space exploration is the countless technological advances from phone cameras, to GPS’. So does the possibility of technological advances outweigh the risks. Mrs Latimer goes on to state only one word, “Absolutely”. If asked the same question, Noah would say “We as a society dreamed for a so long of seeing the stars and planets. I hope we can achieve this dream sooner rather than later.” If you were to ask anyone about their curiosity of the stars it would be hard, if not impossible to find a person that would say no.   


So we have until 2024 until the next man and first woman travels to the south pole of the Moon. The south pole has never been explored by man.  The whole Artemis Project has three main parts. Artemis 1 will be unmanned and will be launching in 2020, while Artemis 2 will be the first attempt at a lunar landing in fifty years. Artemis 2 is dated to launch sometime within 2024. We have until 2020 to see if NASA’s aims of a lunar landing is really going to happen within its 4 year goal.