Four astronauts will venture around the Moon on Artemis II, the first crewed mission on NASA's path to establishing a long-term presence at the Moon for science and exploration through Artemis. The 10-day flight will test NASA's foundational human deep space exploration capabilities, the SLS rocket, Orion spacecraft, for the first time with astronauts.
Artemis II builds on the success of the uncrewed Artemis I in 2022, and will demonstrate a broad range of capabilities needed on deep space missions. The Artemis II flight test will be NASA’s first mission with crew aboard the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket and Orion spacecraft and will pave the way to land the first woman on the Moon on Artemis III.
Crewed Lunar Flyby
No earlier than Nov. 2024
First Artemis Flight With Crew Important Step on Long-term Return to the Moon, Missions to Mars
Astronauts on their first flight aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft will venture around the Moon. Their mission will be to confirm all of the spacecraft’s systems operate as designed with crew aboard in the actual environment of deep space.
A full moon was visible behind the Artemis I SLS (Space Launch System) rocket and Orion spacecraft at Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 14, 2022. The first in an increasingly complex series of missions, Artemis I tested SLS and Orion as an integrated system prior to crewed flights to the Moon.
During the Artemis II mission, the crew will assess the performance of the life support systems necessary to generate breathable air and remove the carbon dioxide and water vapor produced when the astronauts breathe, talk, or exercise. The crew will also test the systems during exercise periods, where the crew’s metabolic rate is the highest, and a sleep period, where the crew’s metabolic rate is the lowest.