NASA plans to launch Artemis I to the moon in a new age of space exploration

Austin Graft

More stories from Austin Graft

November 28, 2022

Photo Courtesy of Gabby Paterson

The famed Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket is set to launch Artemis I’s Orion spacecraft to the moon.

Long has the moon been a source of wonder. The symbol of nature’s passion, the ever-changing and ephemeral phases that have brightened the night sky since the dawn of man, inspiring and captivating billions of souls who have wandered the Earth’s effervescent landscapes.

NASA’s aptly-named Artemis project marks the new age of lunar captivation, with plans to return humankind to the moon, establish a long-term presence, and use what we learn to send the first humans to Mars.

“I do believe that sending people to Mars would be beneficial,” senior Blake Nissen said. “But also it’s billions of dollars, to make the rocket and send it. Money that we don’t have.”

The first step in NASA’s plan was launching Artemis I, an uncrewed flight test sending the Orion spacecraft around the moon. The launch was successful on Nov. 15, with plans to return on Dec. 11, landing in the ocean. The entire project will cost about 93 billion dollars.

“It’s not like there’s a cheaper way to send them,” Nissen said. “It makes sense but it’s hard to decide whether or not to use so much money.”

A successful landing will be yet another step towards sending man back to the moon. The Artemis project also includes sending the first person of color and the first woman to Earth’s natural satellite.

According to NASA, Artemis I will travel 1.3 million miles and reach a speed of 24,500 mph (Mach 23) before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon, would hopefully look upon this endeavor with favor. But if not, she will have to stay her wrath for the time being. Mankind reaches for the stars, and the moon is a prime candidate for our first steps skyward.