• Artemis I is an uncrewed mission of NASA.
  • It will test the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion crew capsule.
  • Artemis I will be the first in a series of increasingly complex missions to build a long-term human presence at the Moon for decades to come.
  • The primary goals for Artemis I are to demonstrate Orion’s systems in a spaceflight environment and ensure a safe re-entry, descent, splashdown, and recovery prior to the first flight with crew on Artemis II.

Artemis I launch

  • The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft have completed their journey from their assembly building to Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
  • At launch, the rocket will produce a maximum of more than 3.9 million kilograms of thrust from its four RS-25 engines and five-segment boosters.
  • Shortly after launch, the boosters, service module and launch abort systems will be offloaded.
  • Then, the core stage engines will be shut down and the core stage will separate from the spacecraft.

Artemis I: Trajectory to the moon

  • After launch, the spacecraft will orbit the Earth and deploy its solar arrays.
  • Next, the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) will give Orion a “push” to help it leave Earth’s orbit and travel toward the planet’s only natural satellite.
  • Then, within about two hours from launch time, when the spacecraft is on a trajectory to the Moon, it will separate from ICPS.
  • When it separates from the spacecraft, ICPS will deploy small satellites, known as CubeSats to send them on their journey to deep space.
  • This includes BioSentinel, which will carry yeast into deep space to study the effects of deep space radiation on living matter.
  • The other CubeSats will also perform many science and technology demonstrations.

Artemis I: Moon orbit

  • On its path to the Moon, Orion will be propelled by a service module built by the European Space Agency.
  • Apart from supplying the spacecraft’s propulsion system and power, the service module is also designed to house air and water for future crewed missions.
  • Once it enters the Moon’s orbit, the spacecraft will collect data.
  • Afterwards, Orion will use a precisely timed engine firing of the service module in combination with the Moon’s gravity to accelerate back towards our planet.

Artemis I: Reentry into Earth’s atmosphere

  • After a total mission time of around 6 weeks, Orion will enter Earth’s atmosphere.
  • And if all goes as planned, it will land in the sea, within eyesight of a recovery ship stationed off the coast of Baja in California.

ISRO’s Moon Exploration Efforts

Chandrayaan 1:

  • The Chandrayaan project began in 2007 with an agreement between India’s space agency ISRO and Russia’s ROSCOSMOS for mutual cooperation.
  • However, the mission was postponed in January 2013 and rescheduled to 2016 as Russia was unable to develop the lander on time.


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