|Names||Exploration Mission-3 (EM-3)|
|Mission type||Crewed lunar landing|
|Mission duration||~30 days|
|Spacecraft type||Orion MPCV|
Human Landing System (HLS)
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin / Airbus|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||2024 (planned)|
|Rocket||SLS Block 1|
|Launch site||Kennedy LC-39B|
|End of mission|
|Disposal||Orion capsule reentry|
|Landing site||Pacific Ocean (planned)|
|Landing site||South polar region|
Artemis 3 (also known as Artemis III) is a planned 2024 flight of NASA's Orion spacecraft to be launched on the Space Launch System. It is planned to be the second crewed mission of the Artemis program and the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972. Formerly known as Exploration Mission-3 (EM-3), the mission was renamed after the introduction of the Artemis program.
As of May 2019, ESPRIT and the U.S. Utilization modules (now called HALO) will fly on commercial launchers instead, and Artemis 3 is intended to rendezvous with a minimal Gateway made up of only the Power and Propulsion Element and a small habitat/docking node with an attached commercial lander system. The landing zone would be in the south polar region. It is planned to have two astronauts on the surface of the Moon for about one week. The mission is intended to be the first to place a woman on the Moon.
While up to four astronauts would leave Earth on board Orion, the surface mission with the HLS will consist of two crew members, who will remain on the surface for 6.5 days. The remaining astronauts will stay on board the Gateway / Orion orbital complex. The two astronauts will conduct up to four spacewalks on the surface of the Moon, performing a variety of scientific observations, including sampling water ice. Before the Artemis 3 landing, some additional equipment will be pre-positioned on the surface, including an unpressurized rover for astronauts to use during their spacewalks. This rover will have the capability to be controlled remotely. Several permanently shadowed regions could be reached by short forays of 5 to 15 km (3.1 to 9.3 mi), well within the range of the unpressurized rover.
In May 2019, NASA selected eleven companies to produce studies of a multi-element landing system that would be staged on the Lunar Gateway previous to the docking of the Artemis 3 crew. These are termed "transfer element" (to low-lunar orbit), the "descent element" to take the crew down to the Moon's surface, and an "ascent element" that would take them back to the Gateway. After Artemis 3, it is intended to make these systems reusable through refueling.
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Under the NASA plan, a mission to land on the moon would take place during the third launch of the Space Launch System. Astronauts, including the first woman to walk on the moon, Mr. Bridenstine said, would first stop at the orbiting lunar outpost. They would then take a lander to the surface near its south pole, where frozen water exists within the craters.
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- Orion website at NASA.gov
- Space Launch System website at NASA.gov