It’s been a long time since humans have set foot on the moon, but the day when we return to the lunar surface is rapidly approaching. With that in mind, NASA has released a gorgeously-animated video that shows exactly how we’re going to get there.
The video, unveiled on NASA’s YouTube channel, details Project Artemis. The upcoming program has gained headlines for its plan to put the first women on the moon, but Artemis is going much further than that. The program — named for the Ancient Greek Goddess of the Moon and twin sister of Apollo, for whom the previous manned moon missions were named — also aims to set up permanent lunar bases as a sort of trial run for future human settlements on Mars. If all of this sounds like a bit of retro science-fiction, you’re not far off, which could help explain the nifty mid-century sci-fi animation style of the video.
Among other things, the video details the new SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket, will deliver humans to the moon. It also talks about the advantages the Artemis mission will have over the previous Apollo missions in the form of pre-loaded supplies. For Artemis, most of the supplies and rovers the astronauts will need on the moon will already be there when they arrive thanks to previous unmanned missions, meaning they won’t need to haul a bunch of junk with them. There will also be a station in lunar orbit called Gateway, which will be expandable for future missions and will eventually function as a hub for missions further into space.
If you think this all sounds pretty nifty (we certainly do!), then you can learn more about the program at nasa.gov/artemis.