NASA’s Artemis program aims to return a human presence to the Moon by 2024. If I were to lead an Artemis exploration mission to the lunar surface, I’d imagine it going like this. After leaving Earth in our S.L.S rocket, we’d coast in space for three days, then dock with the Gateway space station in lunar orbit. There would likely be 4 astronauts in my Moon Pod and aboard our Orion spacecraft, one of which would stay aboard the Gateway while the rest of us went to the surface in a commercially built lander. Upon landing, our mission would immediately begin. Assuming there’s already a base on the moon, we’d head there in a Lunar Roving Vehicle, bringing along all our supplies.
My crew would need to be the best that humanity has to offer. They’d need to be brave enough to face the dangers of the Moon, and be able to stay calm and collected during intense situations. They’d need excellent problem-solving skills, and the ability to think like an engineer and tackle tough challenges head-on.
When we got to the base, we’d unload our supplies, then head south to research and retrieve samples of lunar water-ice. Among our supplies is a commercially built Lunar Ice Mining Apparatus, or L.I.M.A. This vehicle would be equipped with infrared sensors, a radioisotope thermoelectric generator, and a pneumatic arm with a drill, sensors, and other mining equipment. It would have treads for traversing the Moon, and would be able to dock with the Lunar Roving Vehicle for long distance transportation.
In conclusion, we’ve been to the Moon before, but never at the scale of Artemis. Returning to the Moon would be challenging, but with a great crew, innovative technology, and a positive mindset, it is certainly achievable.