Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing which was noted as mankind’s greatest ever achievement.
On July 20th, 1969, lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo module, Eagle, on the moon. The module also carried Neil Armstrong who became the first human to step foot on the surface. The Apollo program successfully landed 6 more manned craft on the lunar surface and the last being Apollo 17 which touched sown on 7th December 1972.
Ever since this final touchdown, we have asked the question: When will we go back?
On April 9th, NASA announced it’s commitment to a timeline which would see humans landing on the moon by 2024. The mission is aimed at the lunar south polar region. The program has been dubbed ‘Artemis’.
The expected role-out of the plan will focus on the program having two phases. The first phase will, of course, land astronauts on the moon and the second phase will establish a sustained human presence on the surface. During this mission, an orbiting module called Gateway will be used. The mission will also include the first woman to take part in a lunar landing.
The Artemis program will fundamentally prepare humans for the next great step of sending humans to Mars. But that’s another post!