Artemis Missions

Artemis Missions

News: NASA has selected Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab to build the next Moon buggy, and the agency will pay them up to $4.6 billion in contract costs for this project.

About Lunar Roving Vehicles: 
• NASA has selected three companies — Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost, and Venturi Astrolab — to develop technologies for a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV), the successor to the iconic Moon buggy used during the Apollo missions.
• Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, expressed excitement about the development of the Artemis generation lunar exploration vehicle, which will enhance astronauts abilities to explore and conduct scientific activities on the Moons surface.
• The LTV, planned for use in the Artemis 5 mission, must be capable of operating in the extreme conditions of the Moons South Pole. It will require advanced technologies for autonomous driving, power management, as well as state-of-the-art communications and navigation systems.
• The LTV will play a critical role in mission operations by enabling astronauts to explore the lunar surface, collect samples, and transport scientific equipment over greater distances than possible on foot, especially while wearing bulky space suits.
• The delay in the Artemis 2 mission launch provides the selected companies with additional time to meet NASAs rigorous technical requirements for the LTV.
• NASA will procure the LTV as a service through contracts totaling up to $4.6 billion under an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, milestone-based structure with firm-fixed-price task orders.
• Each company will begin with a feasibility task order, involving a one-year special study to meet NASAs requirements through a preliminary design maturity phase.
• Following this phase, the space agency plans to build an LTV for a demonstration mission that will land on the Moon ahead of Artemis 5, allowing NASA to validate its safety and performance before crewed missions.

About Artemis Mission:
• The Artemis program, named after the twin sister of Apollo from Greek mythology and the goddess of the moon, aims to land humans on the Moon by 2024.
• Other space agencies involved in the Artemis program include the Canadian Space Agency, European Space Agency, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
• Artemis Mission 1, an uncrewed space mission, launched the Orion spacecraft aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) vehicle. The mission includes three dummy astronauts to simulate future manned missions.
Objective of Artemis 1: Conduct tests essential for future manned lunar missions and beyond.
• The Orion spacecraft will perform a 25-day lunar Orbiter mission before returning to Earth and splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
Significance of Artemis 1: Investigate resource extraction and energy harnessing on the Moon, conduct biology experiments, and study the impact of deep space environments on humans using dummy passengers aboard Orion.
• Other notable moon exploration missions include Apollo 11 by the USA, Luna 2 by the USSR, and Chandrayaan 1 by India. Each mission has contributed unique insights and advancements in lunar exploration.

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