Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2)
|Mission type||Crewed lunar flyby|
|Mission duration||10 days (planned)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||May 2024 (planned)|
|Rocket||SLS Block 1|
|Launch site||Kennedy, LC-39B|
|End of mission|
|Landing site||Pacific Ocean (planned)|
|Flyby of Moon|
|Distance||7,400 km (4,600 mi) (planned)|
Artemis 2 (officially Artemis II) is the second scheduled mission of NASA's Artemis program, and the first scheduled crewed mission of NASA's Orion spacecraft, currently planned to be launched by the Space Launch System (SLS) in May 2024. The crewed Orion spacecraft will perform a lunar flyby test and return to Earth. This is planned to be the first crewed spacecraft to travel beyond low Earth orbit since Apollo 17 in 1972.[a] Formerly known as Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), the mission was renamed after the introduction of the Artemis program. Originally, the crewed mission was intended to collect samples from a captured asteroid in lunar orbit by the now canceled robotic Asteroid Redirect Mission.
The Artemis 2 mission plan objective is to send four astronauts in the first crewed Orion MPCV Spacecraft into a lunar flyby for a maximum of 21 days using the Block 1 variant of the Space Launch System. The mission profile is a multi-trans lunar injection (MTLI), or multiple departure burns, and includes a free return trajectory from the Moon. The Orion spacecraft will be sent to a high Earth orbit with a period of roughly 42 hours. During this time the crew will perform various checkouts of the spacecraft's life support systems as well as an in-space rendezvous and proximity operations demonstration using the spent Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) as a target. When Orion reaches perigee once again, it will fire its main engine to complete the TLI maneuver which will send it to a lunar free return trajectory, before returning to Earth.
In 2017, Exploration Mission-2 was a projected single-launch mission of a Space Launch System (SLS) Block 1B with an Exploration Upper Stage, lunar Block 1 Orion spacecraft, and a payload insertion of 50.7 t (112,000 lb). The plan was to rendezvous with an asteroid previously placed in lunar orbit by the robotic Asteroid Redirect Mission and have astronauts perform space-walks and gather samples. After the cancellation in April 2017 of the Asteroid Redirect Mission, an eight-day mission was proposed with a crew of four astronauts, sent on a free return trajectory around the Moon. Another proposal suggested in 2017 was to take four astronauts aboard Orion on an 8-to-21-day trip around the Moon to deliver the first element of the Deep Space Gateway. In March 2018, it was decided to launch the first Gateway module on a commercial launch vehicle because of delays in building the Mobile Launcher needed to hold the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage. The launcher was selected to be the Falcon Heavy.
While personnel have not yet been announced for the mission, the four-person crew of Artemis II will include a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut, the first Canadian to travel beyond low Earth orbit, under the terms of a 2020 treaty between the United States and Canada. International crews which include European and Asian astronauts will take place in the later missions.
|Lead Astronaut|| TBA, NASA|
|TBA|| TBA, NASA|
|TBA|| TBA, CSA|
|TBA|| TBA, NASA|
NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) sought proposals in 2019 from U.S. institutions and U.S. companies to fly their CubeSat missions as secondary payloads aboard the SLS on the Artemis II mission. NASA would accept proposals for both six-unit (12 kg (26 lb)) and 12-unit (20 kg (44 lb)) CubeSats. As with the Artemis I mission, the CubeSats flying on Artemis 2 were to be mounted on the inside of the stage adapter ring between the SLS upper stage and the Orion spacecraft, and will be deployed after Orion separates. Selections were initially planned to be made by February 2020, but the date passed with no official announcement. In October 2021, NASA dropped all secondary payloads from the mission.
During preliminary reviews in 2011, the launch date was placed somewhere between 2019 and 2021, but afterwards the launch date was delayed to 2023 on a Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle. As of November 2021, Artemis II is projected to launch in May 2024.
|Year||Planned launch date|
|July 2011||August 2021|
|September 2015||April 2023|
|December 2016||August 2021|
|January 2019||June 2022|
|November 2019||Q4 2022|
|July 2020||August 2023|
|June 2021||June 2023|
|November 2021||May 2024|
In 1968, the Apollo 8 mission, crewed by astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders, was designed to test-fly command and service module beyond low Earth orbit. Although similar to Artemis 2 in that it was crewed and did not land on the Moon, it differed by completing 10 orbits of the Moon. Apollo 13 (1970) was the only Apollo mission that flew past the Moon by a free-return trajectory.
In 2005, the company Space Adventures announced plans to take two tourists within 100 km (62 mi) of the lunar surface using a Soyuz spacecraft piloted by a professional cosmonaut. The mission, named DSE-Alpha, has been priced at US$150 million per seat and is expected to last 8–9 days when scheduled. Company CEO Eric Anderson stated in 2011 that one seat had been sold, but the launch date has continually slipped since the second seat remains unsold as of 2017[update].
A SpaceX lunar tourism mission was initially proposed for late 2018 and would have been similar to Artemis 2 in crew size, with two space tourists paying for a free-return loop around the Moon and back to Earth, using the Crew Dragon capsule and launched on the Falcon Heavy. After the first flight of Falcon Heavy in 2018, SpaceX announced that Falcon Heavy would not be used for crewed flights to focus their future development on Starship and indicated that the lunar mission would more likely be carried out with the Starship. On September 14, 2018, SpaceX officially announced that it had signed one of the paying passengers, Yusaku Maezawa, for the #dearMoon project mission using the Starship, scheduled for 2023, and that he would invite 6 to 8 artists to join him.
MISSION NAMING CONVENTION. While Apollo mission patches used numbers and roman numerals throughout the program, Artemis mission names will use a roman numeral convention.This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
NASA is seeking proposals from U.S. small satellite developers to fly their CubeSat missions as secondary payloads aboard the SLS on the Artemis 2 mission under the agency's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI)This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
NASA on August 5 released a solicitation for cubesats to ride along with the first crewed flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule, with the caveat that selected projects fill strategic knowledge gaps for future lunar and Mars exploration