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All about NASA’s Artemis missions at the Kennedy Space Center

NASA's Artemis mission is set to unveil the next chapter of lunar exploration for the United States. The Artemis I mission had a successful liftoff from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The second mission from the Artemis program is set to take off from the same historic spaceport.

About the Artemis missions

Kennedy Space Center

It has been almost 50 years since astronauts last walked on the lunar surface during the Apollo program. With the Artemis mission, NASA looks to revisit the Moon and pave the way for a diverse and inclusive future in space exploration. The space agency aims to accomplish a series of firsts, including landing the first woman and the first person of color on the lunar surface.

Artemis I

Kennedy Space Center

Artemis I was the first of the Artemis series of missions that was launched from Kennedy Space Center. It was the first integrated flight test of NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Systems – the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and the supporting ground systems. Artemis I tested the safety and performance in deep space of the uncrewed Orion spacecraft. The Orion orbited the Moon about 44,000 miles from its surface on a 25.5-day flight.

Launch date: Nov. 16, 2022
Launch location: Kennedy Space Center
Mission duration: 25 days, 10 hours, 53 minutes
Total distance traveled: 1.4 million miles
Re-entry speed: 24,581 mph (Mach 32)
Splashdown: Dec. 11, 2022

Artemis II

Kennedy Space Center

With the Artemis II, NASA aims to send four astronauts around the Moon. It is the first crewed mission on NASA's path to establishing a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration through Artemis missions. The 10-day flight, that is planned to lift off from Kennedy Space Center, will build on the success of the Artemis I mission and will demonstrate a broad range of capabilities needed on deep space missions. This mission will pave the way to land the first woman on the Moon.

Mission type: Crewed lunar flyby
Crew Size: 4
Launch: No earlier than September 2025
Launch location: Kennedy Space Center
Mission duration: 10 days

Meet the astronauts of the Artemis II mission

Reid Wiseman

Role: Commander

Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009, Reid Wiseman is assigned as commander of NASA’s Artemis II mission to the moon. He has previously served as Flight Engineer aboard the International Space Station for Expedition 41. 

Victor Glover

Role: Pilot

Victor J. Glover has been assigned as the pilot of NASA’s Artemis II mission. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2013, he previously served as the pilot of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station as part of Expedition 64.

Christina Hammock Koch

Role: Mission Specialist

Selected as a mission specialist for the Artemis II mission, Christina Hammock Koch has  contributed to scientific instruments on several NASA space science missions in the past. She was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2013. Koch has set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman with a total of 328 days in space.​

Jeremy Hansen

Role: Mission Specialist

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen has been assigned as a mission specialist on theArtemis II mission to the Moon. This will make him the first Canadian to ever venture to the Moon. He was the first Canadian to be entrusted with leading a NASA astronaut class.

Why is the Artemis mission important?

Man’s fascination with the Moon has aided centuries of scientific discoveries and advances. From astronomy, to space exploration, humans have tried it all. The Artemis mission aims to build on this foundation to further advance scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspire a new generation of space explorers.

If successful, the Artemis mission can help humans learn more about the Moon in a couple of decades than it did for centuries. This includes finding out how much water is on the Moon and why that is important for future exploration, along with creating the possibility of growing a lunar economy.




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Frequently asked questions about the Artemis missions

What is NASA's Artemis program?

Artemis is NASA’s crewed spaceflight program. It is intended to return astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972.

When did the Artemis missions start?

The Artemis missions began in 2017.

How many Artemis missions have there been?

Artemis I was launched in 2022. The next in line is Artemis II which is expected to be launched no earlier than September 2025.

Who are the astronauts going to the Moon?

The astronauts going to the Moon on Artemis II are Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Hammock Koch and Jeremy Hansen.

How long will astronauts be in space during Artemis missions?

The Artemis mission will span approximately 10 days.

Why is NASA going back to the Moon?

NASA has said it is going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers. 

How much money does NASA spend on the Artemis program?

NASA's spending on the Artemis program is projected to reach a total of $93 billion by 2025, according to an audit by the NASA Office of Inspector General.

Do other countries or companies work with NASA on the Artemis missions?

The Artemis missions were supported by thousands of people around the world, from contractors who built the spacecraft and rocket, to international and university partners, to small businesses.

Are they sending people to the Moon again?

Yes, NASA aims to send humans to the Moon again for the first time since 1972 with its Artemis missions.

How many times have humans been to the Moon before?

During the nine Apollo missions NASA, 24 American astronauts went to the Moon, and 12 of these astronauts have walked on it. 

Is Artemis connected to the Apollo missions?

More than 50 years ago, NASA sent the first humans to the lunar surface under the Apollo program. Now, NASA is set to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. 

Where did Artemis I launch from?

NASA’s Artemis I was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Can you watch a space launch in person at Kennedy Space Center?

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex provides the closest public viewing of rocket launches with live commentary from space experts. 

Where will NASA launch Artemis II from?

NASA is set to launch from Kennedy Space Center no earlier than September 2025.