Artemis III
NamesExploration Mission-3 (EM-3)
Mission typeCrewed lunar landing
Mission duration~30 days[1]
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeOrion MPCV
Human Landing System (HLS)
ManufacturerLockheed Martin / Airbus
Start of mission
Launch date2024 (planned)[2]
RocketSLS Block 1[3]
Launch siteKennedy LC-39B
End of mission
DisposalOrion capsule reentry
Landing sitePacific Ocean (planned)
Moon lander
Landing siteSouth 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.[2] Formerly known as Exploration Mission-3 (EM-3), the mission was renamed after the introduction of the Artemis program.

Mission overview

The original goal of the mission was to send four astronauts into a near-rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon and deliver the ESPRIT and U.S. Utilization modules to the proposed Lunar Gateway.[4]

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.[5] The landing zone would be in the south polar region.[6] It is planned to have two astronauts on the surface of the Moon for about one week.[7] The mission is intended to be the first to place a woman on the Moon.[8]

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.[9]

Lunar lander

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.[10] 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.[11] After Artemis 3, it is intended to make these systems reusable through refueling.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Gebhardt, Chris (22 September 2017). "SLS EM-1 & -2 launch dates realign; EM-3 gains notional mission outline". Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Davis, Jason (6 September 2018). "Orion's third flight will haul two pieces of a space station to lunar orbit". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  3. ^ Sarah Loff (16 October 2019). "NASA Commits to Future Artemis Missions With More SLS Rocket Stages". Twitter. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  4. ^ Sloss, Philip. "NASA evaluates EM-2 launch options for Deep Space Gateway PPE". Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  5. ^ NASA administrator on new Moon plan: 'We're doing this in a way that's never been done before'. Loren Grush, The Verge. 17 May 2019.
  6. ^ Chang, Kenneth (25 May 2019). "For Artemis Mission to Moon, NASA Seeks to Add Billions to Budget". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 25 May 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2019. 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.
  7. ^ "NASA outlines plans for lunar lander development through commercial partnerships". 21 July 2019.
  8. ^ "NASA unveils schedule for 'Artemis' 2024 Moon mission". France24. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  9. ^ NASA shares details of lunar surface missions—and they're pretty cool
  10. ^ NASA Awards $45.5 Million for Private Moon Lander Work on Project Artemis. Mike Wall, Space. 17 May 2019.
  11. ^ a b Artemis Moon Program Advances – The Story So Far. NASA. 31 May 2019.

External links

  • Orion website at
  • Space Launch System website at