NASA Names New Moon Landing Program Artemis After Apollo’s Sister

NASA Names New Moon Landing Program Artemis After Apollo's Sister

  • Half a century after NASA sent men to the moon under project “Apollo,” the space agency is now working to land men – and women – on the lunar surface as part of its “Artemis” program.
  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed the new moniker on Monday during a call with reporters that was primarily focused on the budget for the newly named moon program.
  • “Our astronaut office is very diverse and highly qualified. I think it is very beautiful that 50 years after Apollo, the Artemis program will carry the next man – and the first woman – to the moon.”
  • The Artemis program, which was previously only referred to by its component names – including the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, Orion crew vehicle and Gateway lunar outpost – began when President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive 1 in 2017, directing NASA to return astronauts to the moon.
  • The name “Apollo” was first proposed for the 1960s moon landing program by Abe Silverstein, NASA’s then-director for spaceflight development.
  • Before being assigned to the current moon landing program, NASA used Artemis to refer to a pair of lunar probes studying the moon’s interactions with the sun.
  • The name has also been used for a European communications satellite and was the fictional title given to the first city on the moon in author Andy Weir’s 2017 science fiction novel “Artemis.” There is also a small crater with the name in Mare Imbrium, or the Sea of Showers, on the moon.