NASA may send astronauts to the Moon in 2025 or 2026
Two American astronauts will land on the surface of the Moon, most likely in late 2025 or early 2026 as part of the Artemis-3 mission – as announced by the NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, TASS reports
During recent hearings at the House Appropriations Committee of the US Congress, Mr. Nelson said that, at the end of 2025 or at the beginning of 2026, a crew of four people will be sent to lunar orbit, “They will dock with the SpaceX lander, and two of the four crew members will descend to the surface and conduct a six-day mission on it.” He added that a female astronaut may be a crew member for the first time.
Mr. Nelson recalled that NASA recently announced the names of the Artemis-2 crew: American astronauts Christina Koch, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman, as well as Canadian Jeremy Hansen. NASA expects them to fly around the Moon in November 2024, after which it will take about twelve months to prepare for the Artemis-3 mission.
In the spring of 2019, NASA announced the project of the Artemis lunar programme, which will consist of several stages. The first of them (Artemis-1) provided for an unmanned flight of the Orion spacecraft installed on the Space Launch System rocket around the Moon and its return to Earth. The flight took place on November 16th-December 11th 2022. The second stage (Artemis-2) is a flyby of the natural satellite of our planet with a crew on board. At the third stage of the mission (Artemis-3), NASA plans to land astronauts on the Moon, and then send them to Mars approximately in the mid-2030s.