NASA has officially confirmed 3 more Artemis missions and is setting up funding for another 6 on top of the ones it has already confirmed. NASA announced that it is moving forward to ‘provide initial funding and authorization to Northrop Grumman to order long-lead items’ for the manufacture of two rocket boosters for the next 6 SLS (Space Launch System) flights. The SLS is will be NASA’s most powerful rocket ever. The Space Launch System rocket is designed to foster human exploration of space beyond that of just Lower Earth Orbit.
The contract isn’t quite finalized just yet, but it has a value of almost $50 million and will run through December 31st, 2030. SLS Boosters office manager Bruce Tiller said in a statement that it’s ‘expected to support booster production and operations for SLS flights 4-9.
We’re ready to process and stack the boosters for the Artemis I mission, and we are making great progress producing boosters for the Artemis II and III missions. NASA is committed to establishing a sustainable presence at the Moon, and this action enables NASA to have boosters ready when needed for future missions.
We don’t know any details about missions 4 through 9, but we do know that Artemis I is scheduled to happen in November 2021. Artemis I will be the first flight with both the SLS and Orion capsule. Artemis II will be the first manned mission. When it launches in 2023, Artemis II will perform a lunar flyby and then head back to Earth. Also, Artemis III is happening in 2024 and will land the next man and first woman on the Lunar surface.
Featued Image Credit: [NASA]