A Brief History
NASA’s planned launch of a new gigantic rocket called Artemis scheduled for August 29, 2022 has been scrubbed due to a problem with an engine, with a new launch date scheduled for September 2, 2022. The launch vehicle is intended to take Americans to the Moon once again, perhaps in 2025 or 2026. (See our other space based articles.)
Note: The rescheduled launch for September 2 was changed to September 3, but on September 3 NASA once again rescheduled the launch for September 5. We’ll See! Now they say September 27!
So why call this rocket Artemis? Because Artemis is the mythological twin of the Greek God, Apollo, the name given to the previous American space program that put humans on the Moon! While the Apollo program used the enormous and enormously powerful Saturn V rocket to launch astronauts to the Moon, the new Artemis system is even more powerful than the Saturn V system, which weighed in at about 6.5 million pounds and boasted a payload capability of over 300,000 pounds to low Earth orbit (called LEO), or about 95,000 pounds beyond LEO. The first stage of the Saturn V produced 7.5 million foot pounds of thrust, the part of the rocket needed to get the whole package off the ground.
Artemis 1, the first Artemis rocket to be launched today, weighs in at 5.75 million pounds but produces almost 9 million foot pounds of thrust, capable of taking 190,000 pounds of payload to LEO and well over 50,000 pounds to the Moon. The subsequent Artemis rockets are capable of delivering much more payload than Artemis 1, and will be adapted for our first manned space flight to Mars.
Is it worth the tremendous cost to send rockets to the Moon?
Question for students (and subscribers): Were you around to watch the live television broadcast of the first moonwalk in 1969? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
If you liked this article and would like to receive notification of new articles, please feel welcome to subscribe to History and Headlines by liking us on Facebook and becoming one of our patrons!
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Sparrow, Giles. Spaceflight, 2nd Edition: The Complete Story from Sputnik to Curiosity. DK, 2019.
Von Ehrenfried, Manfred. The Artemis Lunar Program: Returning People to the Moon. Springer, 2020.
The featured image in this article, a summary by NASA of the Artemis I mission, is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted“. (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.