NASA’s Artemis missions are aiming to put humanity back on the moon within the next couple of years with Artemis III. Kamala Harris is not satisfied with that. According to Harris, the Artemis Program will place an international astronaut in orbit around the moon by the end of this decade.
Harris reiterated the importance that NASA’s crewed return to the moon remains an international affair during the third meeting of the National Space Council (NSC), which she currently chairs. Harris has also promised that NASA’s Artemis Program will send a non American to the surface of the moon in the very near future.
It is very possible that this Artemis astronaut will be included in Artemis III as NASA has not yet announced any astronauts. However, we do know that one European astronaut will be included on both Artemis 4 and Artemis 5, as ESA Director Josef Aschbacher announced that back in July.
Those two missions are currently expected to launch sometime in 2028 and 2029, respectively, though there aren’t any solid launch windows available for any of these upcoming Artemis missions yet, as there are a lot of moving parts to get ready for launches of this magnitude.
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Additionally, before any Artemis astronauts can touch down on the moon, a human-prepped lander like SpaceX’s Human Landing System needs to be tested and proven. It’s still unclear what SpaceX’s position is on the Artemis mission goals, as we haven’t yet seen a successful Starship test.
However, Harris’s continued claims that an international astronaut will grace Artemis this decade should be notable for other countries. While we may be in a new space race, this isn’t the race that we had in the 1970s, when the United States and other countries worked to meet their own goals. We can achieve a great deal more if everyone works together.
The post VP Harris wants Artemis program to put an international astronaut on the Moon this decade appeared first on BGR.