No one in danger! He knew about NASA’s New Moon missions

An artistic depiction of astronaut Artemis on the moon.

An artistic interpretation of the Artemis mission with crew to the moon.
Picture: OUR

Last week was a super discouraging moment Danger!when none of the three contestants on the show could answer a very basic question about NASA’s multibillion-dollar Moon program.

The question is, how did he ask it Danger! host Ken Jennings on the May 4 show, fell into the “Keepin ‘Up With NASA” category and read as follows: “NASA’s program named after this Apollo sister wants to land a woman (and a man) on the moon by 2024.” The question was obviously difficult, as the answer carried a maximum value of $ 1,000 for that category.

And indeed, it turned out to be a triple stalemate, as none of the three contestants managed to elicit the correct answer: “What is Artemis?” Even Mattea Roach, a Toronto teacher who entered the match after winning 21 consecutive games and raising a total of $ 506,585 in winnings, failed to give an answer. So “Artemis, ”As a program, project, brand, or whatever you want to call it, there seems to be no echo in the general public. Or at least, that’s how I read this regret Danger! the moment.

This must have been discouraging for NASA, as well as a sign that it is not doing enough to promote the Artemis program. But there are other factors to consider. Former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence announced Artemis 2017, and although it was under construction before that administration, the association may have tainted the program in the minds of some Americans. Ongoing crises such as the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine, inflation, and the not-so-peaceful transition of power in January 2021 may also have made it harder for Artemis to capture the public’s imagination the way Apollo did.

“I grew up in the 1960s during the Apollo era … but, given the constant reminders I got from school and the news of going to the moon, I knew exactly what Artemis’ brother was up to,” said Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee and editor. NASA Watch site, he told me in an email. “And everyone else.”

Undoubtedly, Artemis can in no way compete with the Apollo program in terms of novelty, excitement and historical significance. NASA must also justify these upcoming missions to an increasingly cynical public, who may justifiably question the need to return to the moon or ask how they themselves could benefit from a multibillion-dollar program. NASA is working to bring the mission closer by having a woman and a colored person participate in Artemis 3, the first landing on the moon since 1972.but it is not clear whether the message passes or to what extent it is important to people.

That J.eopardy! competitors could not name Artemis is also problematic because of the amount of money involved. According to a recently The inspector’s audit, a total of $ 40 billion has already been spent on the Artemis program, and another $ 93 billion is projected from now until 2025. Worryingly, NASA’s chief inspector Paul Martin estimates that each launch of NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System will cost $ 4.1 billion, a cost he described as “unsustainable” during March meeting of the Subcommittee of the House of Space and Aeronautics.

Ongoing delays are another problem and another potential reason why the public remains distanced from the program. Artemis has acquired a certain quality “I will believe when I see” – a completely understandable attitude, given that the SLS has yet to be launched and that recent tests of a 322-foot (98-meter) high rocket have succeeded it didn’t go smoothly. NASA current plan is to launch a rocket for the inaugural mission Artemis 1 in August, but a further delay would not be surprising.

And it’s just a rocket. While the Orion crew capsule is ready for launch, other key elements have yet to be developed, such as the two required lunar landings (both in progress). privately) i xEMU Moon suit. The current plan is to launch Artemis 3 in 2025. (Danger! misunderstood, because 2024 is no longer the goal), but 2026 is probably more likely.

I guess Artemis, as the name and concept of the mission, will eventually enter the usual language when the program reaches some truly impressive milestones – not to mention the first launch of SLS. It will be Artemis 2, when Orion’s capsule with crew will travel to the Moon and back without landing, which will attract wide public attention (this mission will not be launched until 2024 at the earliest). Until then, Artemis will continue to appear in the distant future, and nothing that would make her too excited.

Correction: Previous version of this post misthe year of Apollo’s last landing on the moon is stated.

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