It has been announced that the culmination of Space Policy Directive 1, the goal to land Americans and specifically the first woman on the Moon, at it's south pole in 2024 will be called "Artemis".

From CNN's NASA plans to land the first woman on the moon by 2024:

NASA announced Monday that Trump challenged the agency to land at the south pole of the moon by 2024. That would be Trump's last year in office if he is re-elected. In December 2017, Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1, which called for NASA to send humans to the moon for the first time since 1972 for "long-term exploration and use" and missions to other planets.

The space agency also revealed the new mission's name will be Artemis, the Greek goddess of the moon and twin sister of Apollo. NASA's Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing the first humans on the moon on July 20, 1969.

"Fifty years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man and first woman to the moon," said Bridenstine during a press call.

When I hear Artemis I think of the two spacecraft Artemis P1 and P2 which were renamed from Themis-B, and Themis-C when their mission was extended, if I understand correctly.

Besides the fact that both that mission and this one are related to the Moon in general, are there other links between the two projects?


2 Answers 2


There is no connection between the current unmanned ARTEMIS mission and the recently proposed lunar lander. (Source: I'm the Science Operations Center manager for the current THEMIS and ARTEMIS missions.)

The Artemis of mythology is associated with the moon, so it's easy to see how two different lunar projects might choose it for a name. In fact, there's also another THEMIS out there...it's an instrument on the Mars Odyssey mission, which came before "my" THEMIS/ARTEMIS project.


@JimLewis' answer is of course right and he should know!

While the two uncrewed spacecraft ARTEMIS P1 and P2 have used libration point orbits as part of their maneuvering in cis-lunar space, and the upcoming Gateway will also use a libration point orbit, the crewed mission to the Moon dubbed ARTEMIS will almost certainly not use an orbit associated with a libration point.

Those types of transfers may require less delta-v in some cases and the crewed ARTEMIS will not want to "store" the astronauts for several extra weeks.

See the 2010 NASA news article ARTEMIS - The First Earth-Moon Libration Orbiter and the cool orbit plots there, and compare to the Gateway's near-rectilinear halo orbit:

It's also worth noting that there is yet another Artemis spacecraft!

It's starting to remind me a little bit of Any relationship between Rosetta's OSIRIS camera, OSIRIS-REx, OSIRIS-3U, OSIRIS optical comms, OSIRIS spectrograph, & OSIRIS game?


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