On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 was launched in Florida. Fifty years later, a new mission is preparing for Cape Canaveral.
"With this new program, called Artemis, named after Apollo's twin sister, we will send the next man and the first woman to the south pole of the Moon," said Jim Bridenstine, the space agency's administrator. US.
The last phase of Artemis is scheduled for 2024 and will consist of three stages. The first will be unmanned with a test flight of the Orion spacecraft, before a second mission around the Moon, and a third with astronauts on board.
These three missions will be launched by the largest rocket of all time, the Space Launch System (SLS), whose construction has been delayed. "We are in the midst of our testing, checking and validation, to ensure that our ground systems meet the requirements and fully support the air vehicle," says Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis project director.
Unlike the Apollo program, NASA wants this time to ensure a sustainable presence on the Moon by partnering with other space agencies and private companies. The goal is to build an infrastructure on the lunar floor to extract water, oxygen and hydrogen.