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Artemis, the renewal of lunar exploration

After more than 50 years without a human presence beyond the limits of the atmosphere, the Artemis program marks humanity's return to deep space . Thanks to the numerous missions planned aboard the Orion spacecraft, Artemis is paving the way for the discovery of territories still unexplored by man. This visionary program lays the foundations for many future Martian missions. The Moon today constitutes the first step.

Artemis program

Initiated in 2017 by NASA, the Artemis program aims to send humans to the Moon in 2026 and to establish a sustainable base there by 2027. It is in line with the legendary Apollo program which marked the history from 1961 to 1975. Artemis goes beyond that, however, promising a new, bolder era of exploration , using the Moon as a springboard for distant explorations.

Orion spaceship

ORION spacecraft, Credit NASA © 2024.


Like the Apollo program more than 50 years ago, the Artemis program begins with missions in lunar orbit with Artemis I, inaugurated in December 2022. The final objective is the construction of a station in lunar orbit of here 2027 , a station called Gateway - a springboard to space. The Artemis Program is therefore not just content to repeat history: it aims to shape the conquest of space for decades to come.

Artemis mission

ARTEMIS I - 2022

Artemis I, the first mission of the program, was launched on November 16, 2022, validating the operation of the new SLS launcher and the systems of the Orion spacecraft in lunar orbit before its return to Earth on December 11, 2022. This ambitious project aimed to prepare Artemis II and the return of 4 astronauts to lunar soil by 2026.


The Artemis II mission, for its part, is experiencing a certain delay in the development of the Human Landing System and has, as such, been postponed until November 2025. Still on board Orion, a crew of 4 astronauts will embark following a trajectory unique through space and will make a trip around the moon . This step will mark a turning point in space history and the return, for the first time since 1972, of humans to deep space.

ARTEMIS III & IV - 2026/28

This historic milestone will allow the crew to set foot on the Moon again after more than 50 years of absence. Once Artemis III and the first moon landing are achieved, the program aims to establish the Gateway space station in lunar orbit, setting the stage for future longer and more complex missions to Mars and beyond.

Orion spaceship

ORION spacecraft, Artemis I, Credit NASA © 2022.


With an initial budget of $7.8 billion, the Artemis program, unlike its predecessor Apollo, is the result of an ambitious international collaboration, bringing together partners such as ESA (European Space Agency), as well as the Canadian and Japanese international space agencies.

More than fifty private players also provide their technical skills, notably SpaceX , in charge of developing the Starship human landing system (HLS), which will allow astronauts to land near the South Pole of the Moon during Artemis III and IV missions. Funding for the project is expected to reach $93 billion by 2030 according to NASA, matching the program's ambition. Artemis thus symbolizes a new era of international cooperation in space, unifying the resources and expertise of multiple nations.

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