NASA plans to land the first woman on the moon by 2024, and the first man in nearly five decades, thanks to a further increase in the agency’s budget by President Trump.
This historic moment will be achieved through NASA’s pioneering Artemis lunar exploration program, which will use new technologies and innovative systems to explore a much larger lunar surface.
Through Artemis, NASA will work with commercial and global partners to achieve sustainable exploration by 2028. NASA will then build on the lessons learned from experience on and around the Moon to achieve its primary goal of sending astronauts to Mars.
The Space Launch System.
Astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft will be launched into a lunar orbit nearly a quarter of a million kilometers from Earth using NASA’s new, extremely powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
After the astronauts land on the Moon, NASA will begin exploring the entire lunar surface, using human and robotic explorers. The astronauts will be sent to new locations, starting with the Lunar South Pole.
What’s the purpose of this mission?
This exploration will involve finding and using water and other vital resources necessary for long-term exploration missions. Astronauts will seek to unravel the many mysteries of the Moon, while learning more about the Earth and the larger universe.
As part of this mission, NASA will study how astronauts can live and work on the surface of “another celestial body”, as well as examine the technologies needed before they can send a crew on a three-year return trip to Mars.
Encouraging women to work in STEM
Of the 566 people who have travelled in space, only 64 are women. Although 12 people have walked on the surface of the moon, every one of them has been a man so far.
By sending a woman to the Moon, NASA hopes to inspire new generations to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), while showing young girls that they too can participate in groundbreaking space missions.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the first woman to walk on the moon will already be a member of the astronaut corps and have worked on the International Space Station (ISS), according to space.com.