Edited NASA PR image of the SLS and Orion for the Artemis 1 mission. March 18, 2022. Photo: Stuart Rankin / Flickr / NASA / CC BY-NC 2.0

We are on our way to colonizing the Moon and paving the way for human landings on Mars. The Artemis 1 test mission, so far, has been a great success. On November 16th, the SLS and Orion Spacecraft launched from pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center. Despite some previous hydrogen leak challenges during dress rehearsals, and a major hurricane sending the rocket and spacecraft back into the Vehicle Assembly Building, the uncrewed Artemis 1 has been working flawlessly. The Orion spacecraft is now on its return journey to Earth. The spacecraft has flown further than any other human grade spacecraft and is testing the extreme environment of deep space, including the impact of radiation, before launching humans around and onto the Moon with future Artemis missions.

The success of the entire Artemis program will require not only the successful completion of individual missions, but will require a whole society approach. This means utilizing the skills and talents of our nation, including industry, commercial partners, international partners, manufacturers, scientists, and more. Mission Artemis is launching a new era of space exploration that is paving the way to return humans to the Moon for the first time in over 50 years. But NASA is not simply returning to the Moon in a repeat of the Apollo Program, it is embarking on an entirely new journey of space exploration and discovery that truly has the potential of transforming civilization. 

 During his Presidency, Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 to refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery, and away from service to the Royal, radical, genocidal hoax whose current label is  the “fight against anthropogenic climate change.” In signing Space Policy Directive 6, President Trump also outlined a national strategy for responsible and effective use of space nuclear power and propulsion systems. Although the Artemis program will continue across administrations and generations, the continued success of the program requires visionary leadership committed to a true national mission, it cannot be wedded to ideologies that are destructive of human progress, such as a globalist agenda for world government, and “green,” anti-growth environmentalist agendas, as has become the dominant direction of NASA under the Biden collective. The Artemis Program will require great leaps in energy production for both space travel and nuclear powered systems here on Earth. This is why the promotion of Project Prometheus by LaRouchePAC, to bring about a renaissance in nuclear fission and fusion energy, will be driven by the discovery and utilization of space resources, like Helium 3 and other minerals, mined on the moon. 

Artemis 1 Is Only the First Step in Unleashing A Whole New Era of Discovery

After the December 11 successful completion of the Artemis 1 mission, the nation will have taken a giant leap forward in demonstrating its new array of proven space capabilities. This achievement will play an important role in reasserting American leadership in space development and paving the way to truly accomplishing the goal of Making America Great Again.

At its furthest distance from Earth the Orion spacecraft was 268,563 miles away from us. The Orion spacecraft traveled to a highly stable retrograde orbit—about 40,000 miles above the Moon where very little fuel is required to establish an orbit. Orion broke the record for the furthest distance traveled by a spacecraft designed for human exploration. Prior to Orion, the furthest distance record had been held by NASA's Apollo 13 spacecraft which had traveled 248,655 miles from Earth.

On December 2, teams collected images with Orion's optical navigation camera and downlinked a variety of data files, including data from the Hybrid Electronic Radiation Assessor (HERA). This radiation detector measures charged particles that pass through its sensors. Although this mission is uncrewed, three very important mannequins on board Orion are preparing the way for future human missions. Two of the mannequins designated as the Matroshka AstroRed Experiment (MARE) were fitted with 5,600 sensors to measure radiation. Only one of the mannequins flew with a radiation protection vest.

The third mannequin on board the Orion is in the commander's seat, and named Commander Moonikin Campos, after NASA engineer Auturo Campos, who played a key role during the Apollo Era in bringing the Apollo 13 mission safely back to Earth. Commander Moonikin Campos has been gathering data aboard the spacecraft on what future human crew members will experience during flight around the moon and, soon after landing on the Moon.

Another very important feature of the Artemis 1 mission was the release of 10 6U CubeSats, and science investigations, that were injected from the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) upper stage after the trans lunar injection burn following launch. The cubesats are studying various facets of the Moon and interplanetary travel. Of the cubesats, one of my favorites is the Lunar IceCube Mission which includes Goddard Space Center's Broadband Infrared Compact High Resolution Explorer Spectrometer, or BIRCHES instrument, which will use its spectrometer capacity to determine major minerals on the lunar surface and also to locate and study lunar ice. This will help map out where future human bases will be built.

As Artemis 1 continues on its return course to Earth, the journey has just begun. We are preparing the way for a new generation of explorers for Artemis. NASA continues to provide contracts to industry and commercial partners, to build out human landing systems, and other rovers and landers for building out future base camps for a sustained presence on the lunar surface. Space X has now been awarded its second contract with NASA to supply its Starship human landing system for the second crewed landing mission, Artemis 4 in 2027, following the first Starship landing of Artemis 3 now scheduled for 2025. Earlier this year NASA selected three companies to design a nuclear power plant for the Moon which will power a sustained human presence for at least 10 years. The three companies, Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse, and IX—a joint venture of Intuitive Machines and X-energy—have been working to develop design concepts for a nuclear fission system to power Artemis Lunar operations. Many more companies and  countries working with NASA are building out infrastructure for Lunar landers, rovers, 3D printing systems, and more to allow astronauts to effectively live and work in and around base camps at the South Pole of the Lunar surface.

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 17 Moon landing mission of astronauts Harrison (Jack) Schmitt and Gene Cernan, the sixth landing of American astronauts on the Lunar surface. We had only started to scratch the surface during Apollo. The Artemis generation will colonize the Moon, begin the human exploration of Mars, and truly propel America to greatness once again.

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