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Artemis III

Artemis III will build on the crewed Artemis II flight test, adding new capabilities with the human landing system and advanced spacesuits to send the first humans to explore the lunar South Pole region.

Active Mission

Artemis III will be one of the most complex undertakings of engineering and human ingenuity in the history of deep space exploration, exploring the lunar South Pole region. The astronauts’ observations, samples, and data collected will expand our understanding of our solar system and home planet, while inspiring the Artemis Generation.

Mission Type

Crewed Surface Landing

Crew size



No earlier than Sept. 2026

Mission Duration

~30 Days

Mission Overview

Artemis III

Humanity's return to the lunar surface

Over the course of about 30 days, the Artemis III astronauts will travel to lunar orbit, where two crew members will descend to the surface and spend approximately a week near the South Pole of the Moon conducting new science before returning to lunar orbit to join their crew for the journey back to Earth.

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A NASA artist's illustration of Artemis astronauts working on the Moon.
A NASA artist’s illustration of Artemis astronauts working on the Moon.

The Spaceport

The systems and facilities that assemble and launch rockets and spacecraft for NASA’s Artemis missions.

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Artemis I Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson looks out of the windows in Firing Room 1 of the Launch Control Center as NASA's Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft roll by on their way to the launch pad.

The Launch: SLS Rocket

The crew of four astronauts will launch on the Block 1 configuration of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida .  SLS is the only rocket capable of launching crew to the Moon aboard Orion.

Learn More about The Launch: SLS Rocket
Houston We Have a Podcast Ep. 234: SLS

The Ride: Orion

The crew of Artemis III will ride to lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft, where Orion will dock with the Starship human landing system in preparation for their journey to the lunar surface. Orion is the only spacecraft capable of returning crews to Earth at lunar reentry velocities. 

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The Lander

Two crew members will board the SpaceX Starship Human Landing System in lunar orbit and descend to the surface where they will collect samples, perform science experiments, and observe the lunar environment before returning to orbit aboard the Starship HLS.

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Artist's concept of SpaceX Starship human landing system.

The Suits

The crew members will wear Axiom Space's advanced spacesuit as a one-person spacecraft that will protects them from the extreme environment of space while they are are performing moonwalks on the Artemis III mission.

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The Artemis III spacesuit, the AxEMU, reveal at Space Center Houston

Where We're Going

Lunar Site Selection

As NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the Moon under Artemis, the agency has identified 13 candidate landing regions near the lunar South Pole.

Each region contains multiple potential landing sites for Artemis III, which will be the first of the Artemis missions to bring crew to the lunar surface.

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Aquí se muestra una representación de las 13 regiones candidatas para el aterrizaje de Artemis III. Cada región mide aproximadamente 15 por 15 kilómetros (9,3 por 9,3 millas).

Why We're Going

Science Objectives

Field geology, sample collection and return, and deployed experiments all are part of the necessary mix of work to advance scientific discovery at the Moon. 

The Moon often is referred to as the cornerstone of the solar system, and the Artemis III investigations aim to help scientists better understand fundamental planetary processes that operate across the solar system and beyond. 

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Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon.
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