Considering that NASA evidently already know how to land astronauts on the Moon (thanks to Apollo), what is the point of the Artemis program? For example, the just-launched Artemis 1 is 1) uncrewed and 2) not landing on the Moon, which are both hurdles that the Apollo missions surmounted. Did NASA regress? If not, what happened to the knowledge gained from Apollo? Was it lost, or is there some other reason why NASA is apparently not making use of it?

I'm surprisingly unable to Google for an answer to this question. I'd have thought it's a FAQ.

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    $\begingroup$ I can't imagine why this was closed. Asking about the goals of a mission seems very on topic for SE. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2022 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest editing to "How do Artemis goals differ from Apollo's?" $\endgroup$
    – Woody
    Nov 16, 2022 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ I'm less interested in the scientific goals of Artemis than I am in the technical reasons for why NASA can't just reuse Apollo technology. $\endgroup$
    – Allure
    Nov 17, 2022 at 0:46
  • $\begingroup$ Apollo technology is 60+ years old. Why on earth would we reuse technology that old in something like this? $\endgroup$
    – brhans
    Nov 17, 2022 at 3:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Allure If that's you're main interest, then your question is essentially a duplicate of Why not build Saturn V's again?, the answers to which say that we probably can't, and even if we could, we wouldn't want to do so. NASA has not regressed. It has advanced by quite a bit. $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2022 at 9:46

1 Answer 1


Apollo landing sites did not include some interesting places at poles and another side of the Moon where it may be caves suitable for colonization and also some water ice. Such places are more difficult to reach. Apollo sites were selected so that reaching them would not be very difficult - on the Earth's side and close to equator.

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    $\begingroup$ "Apollo landing sites did not include some interesting places": entirely correct, but somewhat lacking. We landed six places on a planetary body with only slightly less surface area than all of North and South America combined. We barely scratched the surface. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2022 at 18:25

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