Artemis space mission to send a ‘stepping stone’ to Mars and beyond to the moon

When mankind last went to the moon, it was the destination.

But when NASA’s Artemis 1 mission kicks off on Monday, the moon will become something of a stopover.

Isabel Tremblay of the Canadian Space Agency, who plays a major role in the Artemis mission, said: She said, “It’s about learning how to get to Mars.”

Artemis 1 is the first in a series of flights intended to create a base that orbits the Moon, from which crew members can step into the solar system. The mission is to launch his 10 scientific satellites into lunar orbit, but the main purpose is to test NASA’s new launch system and the Artemis 2 Orion spacecraft.

That’s when things get really interesting. Scheduled for spring 2024, Artemis 2 will be the first manned mission to the Moon since the last Apollo mission half a century ago.

“There’s always a Canadian in the crew,” said Tremblay.

Artemis 2 orbits the moon, and Artemis 3 astronauts land on the moon. But the Artemis mission aims to go beyond Earth’s satellites and build a lunar gateway. A small space station orbiting the Moon could be used as a launch point for future missions to Mars and beyond.

Canada’s major contribution to the Artemis project shines here. Gateway will be equipped with his third version of the famous robotic Canadaarm.

The Canada Arm 3 actually offers two hands. This means you can repair it with one hand and the other. It maintains, repairs, and inspects the Gateway, engages visitor vehicles during transit, coordinates the Gateway’s working modules, assists astronauts during spacewalks, and assists in scientific measurements. It works alone, both remotely from Earth and autonomously.

Tremblay says Canadian scientists and astronauts are playing an important role in space exploration thanks to contributions such as Canadarm.

“We always say we punch above our weight.”

In addition to the Canadarm, Canadian science and technology is behind the machines targeting NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope. It is now sending back to Earth some stunning images of the oldest galaxies in existence.

Canada’s contribution to the US$10 billion James Webb is $178 million for design and construction through 2021 and $16.5 million for scientific support, accounting for about 5% of the telescope’s viewing hours.

Canadian science also contributes in other ways.

Scientists and private companies are tackling NASA’s challenge to create appetizing and healthy food that can be grown in space. Others are leading space medicine.

Experiments on Artemis 1 at the University of British Columbia study the effects of deep space radiation on yeast and algae cells that can grow for both nutrition and fuel.

Canadaarm 3 is projected to cost a total of $1.9 billion over 24 years.

It’s a good investment, Tremblay said.

There are technical and scientific spinoffs for those left behind on Earth. Space exploration could help with challenges such as food security and healthcare, Tremblay said.

Commercial opportunities may follow.

“The moon has become a strategic target,” Tremblay said. “There may be resources that we can use to go further, but there may be resources that are useful to us.”

Artemis 1 will stay in space for up to 42 days, orbit the Moon and travel more than 2 million kilometers.

But that’s just the beginning of Artemis’ challenge to Big Black.

“The moon is a stepping stone to Mars,” said Tremblay. “It’s the moon where we can learn to go further.”

canadian press