Plans are in full swing to convey astronauts to the moon in 2024. The Artemis project 3 led by NASA involves a host of other space agencies globally. With a vision to land a woman and another man on the moon, the project aims at testing the new Orion Spacecraft and further exploring the moon. Other possible results NASA hopes to achieve form the success of Artemis mission 3 are; increasing frequency of missions and a possible mission to Mars, strengthening ties with other Space agencies and the involvement of agencies in funding future projects.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a deal with Airbus to build an essential part of the vessel which will convey the astronauts to the moon. Orion, the name the vessel is tagged will have the European Service Module (ESM) as its heart. This module will be built to support the life of the astronauts within. It will supply electricity, water, oxygen and maintaining the required temperature for survival. The engines will provide the needed thrust and navigation for the crew’s journey to the south pole of the moon and back to earth.
ESM will have a little more than 20000 parts with hundreds of professionals coming together for the project. The European Space Module 3 will occupy the bottom region of the Artemis craft with a mass totalling more than half the entire spacecraft but almost of equal diameters. Orion, when completed will have a height of just above 7 meters and a mass of 26000 Kilograms. Four solar wings will be attached to the vehicle giving it an extension of 19m. With 8600 Kilograms of fuel and the installation of 32 smaller thrusters, Orion will be fully equipped for a journey to the moon and back.
Airbus, in a statement on Tuesday, has claimed it will work on improving the previous automated modules it created. Although the past modules were only used as delivery vessels to space stations, the company believes adding the necessary adjustments will guarantee a successful trip. The deal believed to be in the region of 275 million dollars will be a good test for Airbus. Orion’s design and successful trip in 2024 will pave the way for a lot more missions and even begin the long-awaited plans for a trip to Mars.
Artemis project 3 is the third major mission and the second crewed trip of Artemis. The project will be the first trip to the moon since half a century ago when Apollo 17 crew landed on the earth’s satellite. Its two crew members are going to perform four spacewalks on the moon, collecting scientific data such as the study of ice caps on the moon. The team will be on the surface of the satellite for six and a half days before returning to the earth. ESA expressed pleasure with their involvement as it shows Europe’s commitment to the mission. The ESM will undergo a series of tests in NASA’s Ohio space center to ascertain all conditions are good. Success will then mean that the mission is set and the next stop Orion would make before the moon is the JFK Florida Space center.