Artemis: it May Be The Last Mission For NASA Astronauts

NASA astronaut Mae Jemison holds back tears outside of the launch pad on May 31, 2022, where she will be part of the long-awaited first flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space capsule carrying astronauts to the International Space Station.

This was just one of many emotional moments heard from all the crewmembers who are expected to board for America’s first long term human presence in Earth’s orbit. They were all on hand to witness this historic moment and bring out their best faces whenever they spoke about what it means to them to become a member of the Artemis Team.

The first manned Moon landing was over 70 years ago, but mankind remains very much interested in sending humans into deep space. It would not only mark a milestone on our journey since the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, but also set an example for future missions in Mars’ moons and other places we want to explore.

However, due to budget limitations at NASA, there are no plans for us to head there any time soon. If that happens, the last mission of NASA astronauts could be taking place with US astronauts heading to lunar orbit in 2024-2025 as part of the current “Artemis” program.

NASA has already got four successful launches so far, and all of these flights have been with commercial airlines. While launching on another airline does give you more flexibility when things go wrong, it also gives chances for mistakes to happen. Any number of problems can occur on the way to space – everything from engines firing or communication, something could go wrong and throw off your schedule or even make you crash. As such, private companies are now being brought in as more alternatives have been found for larger launches and more cost effective solutions.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has stated several times, even before he became CEO of Tesla, that he wanted to build his own spacecraft called Starship. It is designed to be reusable by incorporating various elements like heat-shields and power-generating systems like solar panels and fuel cells.

Moreover, it would also allow humanity to colonize the planets where space travel has never been attempted. So why wouldn’t they use a rocket to send people from Earth? To provide some perspective, the United States launched five manned vehicles to the moon’s surface between 1969 and 1972, while China landed a rover in 2021. That means we have landed the first two crews on our moon, but we haven’t even done anything yet in terms of human exploration to other planets.

But SpaceX isn’t the only company that may soon get back humans from outer space. In 2016, Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT2) reached an altitude of 8,000 feet and successfully landed its experimental booster stage. Now, Orbiter 1 is scheduled to take off around June 2023.

But if the ISS gets delayed again, then ORF1 might turn into an alternative option. According to Aerospace Corporation, the upcoming Orion space station will feature the most advanced integrated approach system in the industry at $1 billion per year, which doesn’t include launch fees. So, the price tag isn’t going up as much as the delay in operations. Even though this sounds great, it could also mean less money in the event of accidents during transportation to space.

So, in short, the potential of a third moon landing is still in play if at least half of all US astronauts end up making the trip to space on SpaceX’s next rocket. And maybe there will be a lot of backup options if either OFT2 or OP1 fails, should the ISS go down with both failing. Of course, this isn’t going to stop astronauts from getting excited about returning to home, however.

Since the beginning of their training, US military pilots have been trained to handle extreme situations in space. After months of practice, pilots have learned how to operate different machines, including maneuvering aircraft in zero gravity. Although there is plenty of room on earth for improvements, the hope is that these lessons will help prepare astronauts to survive their mission to the ISS.

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