Artemis, a lunar mission in partnership with ESA

Seeing an astronaut tread the lunar soil again, a close event thanks to the Artemis mission? Space explorations and new extraterrestrial discoveries are multiplying. NASA, ESA, and private actors like Jeff BEZOS and Elon MUSK are constantly proposing innovations more developed than the others to make this dream come true. Europe has been able to make a place for itself in the world of space innovation, and collaborates with NASA. It will also present two major innovations for the upcoming Artemis missions: the European service modules ESM-2 and ESM-3.

Getting closer to the Moon with the Artemis mission

The ESM-2 and ESM-3 modules are key elements built by Europe as part of the Artemis missions to the Moon. These missions, three in number, each have a goal: to bring Man closer to the Moon. The very first mission, Artemis I, consists of an unmanned lunar mission. Take-off is scheduled for 2021, without a specific date being set. The ESM-1 module, prepared by ESA,is fully integrated into the Orion capsule. This first mission will last 25 days.

The second mission, dubbed Artemis II, will consist of a crew of four astronauts. On board the ship, they will fly over the Moon before returning to Earth. Initially scheduled for a launch in 2022, the mission will be postponed to 2023/2024. In about ten days, the Orion spacecraft will make a circumlunar trajectory before returning to Earth. This manned mission is a first since December 1972.

Finally, the third and final mission is called Artemis III. It will not take place until 2025, but is a major project. Indeed, it will again be a manned flight, but this time, the astronauts will set foot on the Moon. Another event that has not occurred since December 1972. This mission, led by NASA, has several objectives. First of all, to be able to explore the lunar surface even deeper than previous times thanks to Man.

This mission also aims to sustainably and permanently position an Artemis base camp on the surface of the Moon. This would allow astronauts on mission to come to the site more often to continue their research work. Planned for a total duration of 25 to 35 days, it takes four astronauts on board in a mixed crew. Two of them will go to the lunar surface for 6 and a half days to conduct research.

Astronaut Mission Moon
Manned missions to the Moon and Mars will multiply in the coming years.

More distant ambitions for manned missions

For the last phase of the Artemis mission, the astronauts set up a base camp to stay permanently. This is to facilitate long-term missions on site. The installation area, located on the south pole of the Moon, is not chosen by chance. Indeed, it contains all the resources that astronauts need to survive on its surface.

To get to the Moon, astronauts pass through a gateway that remains around the lunar orbit. They will then access a kind of shuttle that will allow them to land on the surface of the Moon… And to return to the bridge, connected to the Orion ship. The bridge is expected to remain in orbit for about a decade, allowing other missions to set up.

The Artemis mission marks a turning point in lunar and space exploration. Indeed, with all the innovations and more sustainable ambitions of NASA… It’s a safe bet that the next missions will go even further than the Moon. Repeated stays on Earth’s satellite would then help prepare for future explorations to Mars,with astronauts on board. No manned mission to the Red Planet has yet taken place, but perseverance’s first steps give NASA high hopes.

ESA is thus making its contribution to the successful implementation of the phases of the Artemis mission in the coming years. The modules thus built provide essential functions to the lives of astronauts on board the spacecraft: air, electricity and propulsion. Research to perfect ships and conquer deeper space is multiplying. In the coming years, missions to Mars will be a reality…


  1. Delivery of 2nd European Service Module: from Europe to the Moon. Airbus press release published on 1 October 2021
  2. NASA Artemis
  3. Mission Artemis I – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Artemis II – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  5. Artemis III – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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