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Photo credit: Everyday Health Photo of Hernandez (dressed in all black) at The Watcha! Film Series in honor of Women’s History Month.

NASA’s mission to send humans into space

SAN ANTONIO- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced on December 2017 that they would return humans to the moon for the first time since the Apollo 17 Moon mission in 1972.

Visionaries at NASA have been dreaming of returning people to the moon for decades and it seems as if that dream is finally going to become a reality with the Artemis program. 

According to NASA, the Artemis program will send the first woman and the first person of color to the moon by or soon after the 2025. It is still unknown who the chosen astronauts are, but it is a monumental step in achieving greater equality for all humanity.

Astronauts and candidates for the Artemis program include Joseph Acaba, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Victor Glover Jr., Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Christina Koch, Kjell Lindgren, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain, Jessica Meir, Jasmin Moghbeli, Kate Rubins, Frank Rubio, Scott Tingle, Jessica Watkins and Stephanie Wilson.

NASA considers Artemis the first step in a new direction of human space exploration. In other words, when NASA sends the designated astronauts to the moon, they intend for them to stay there for an extended period of time.

The purpose of the astronauts staying on the moon is to establish bases in lunar orbit and on the moon’s surface. These bases will serve as the basic foundations for humans to eventually travel to Mars.

To get humans to the moon by 2025, the Artemis Moon program must go through three main phases.

The first phase, Artemis 1, is set to complete the testings of an un-crewed Orion spacecraft. NASA aims to launch the first testing of the spacecraft in April or May of 2022.

Orian is set to orbit the moon at just 62 miles above the surface, before continuing its journey of 40,000 miles beyond the moon. This test launch is to figure out if there are any technical issues before the next phase, Artemis 2.

Artemis 2, which will launch around May 2024, will serve as a test flight to send astronauts to orbit the moon in Orion and beyond. The crew on Artemis 2 is planned to travel 40,000 miles past the moon before returning to Earth, making it the farthest the human species has ever traveled in space. 

The third phase of the Artemis program occurs once the first two phases have been successfully completed. The Artemis 3 voyage will be the first lunar mission where astronauts will explore the lunar south pole, which has never been visited before.

Upon reaching the surface, the astronauts plan to study its surface, test new technologies and even search for icy water, first detected in 1971.

NASA is currently focused on these three phases of the Artemis mission but, if they are successful, they plan to send astronauts to space every year through 2030.

For more information on the Artemis mission, visit

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