Artemis is the name of NASA's program to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. This time, a woman will be included in the two-man crew. NASA will collaborate with commercial and international partners to establish a sustainable base for further exploration of the moon by the end of the decade. This knowledge and experience should allow for the second part of the Artemis program, namely, to send astronauts to Mars/
The program will test NASA’s deep space transportation system, including (at present) the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, Gateway, the HLS, and the Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) facilities that include a modernized spaceport. According to NASA, the Orion spacecraft, powered by a service module provided by ESA (the European Space Agency), has been specifically designed for deep space human operations for up to four crew. The SLS rocket is the human-rated heavy-lift rocket designed to launch Orion and send it on missions to the Moon.
At the start of 2020, NASA conducted an assessment of the management and integration across programs, schedule risks, technical risks, technical systems engineering integration, and test program thoroughness. The results indicated that the Artemis III approach that was baselined for the original 2028 landing timeline—and therefore the schedule to meet the goal of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024—was significantly dependent on new technology maturation. Based on the findings, NASA is conducting studies with the HLS vendors to investigate where high technology readiness systems may improve schedule for Artemis III.