The Moon’s South Pole is the next landing site for NASA which has outlined a plan to send a woman and a man to the moon under the Artemis Plan. The Artemis Plan will be executed in three stages and the third stage will be the crewed mission to the Moon.
The core technologies helping behind the manned moon mission are the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, the HLS, and the EGS facilities that include a modernized spaceport. The Orion spacecraft, powered by a service module provided by ESA (the European Space Agency), has been specifically designed for deep space human operations for up to four crew. The SLS rocket is the human rated heavy-lift rocket designed to launch Orion and send it on missions to the Moon.
Throughout the mission, the crew will have limited down-time to contact their families, but they will have one off-duty day to mentally prepare themselves for the return home and talk with their families and friends back on Earth via video chat while viewing the solar system out of Orion’s windows.
In the first plan, the SLS launcher will deliver Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) will be delivered on the Lunar Surface and 13 cubesats in the orbit out of which 5 will return back to the earth with required data. On return, SLS rocket will have travelled 40,000 miles beyond the Moon, or a total of about 280,000 miles from Earth before returning home.
In the second phase, uncrewed test flights with the SLS and Orion Spacecraft will occur. Instead of humans, engineering equipment will be substituted. There will be no cockpit displays and controls and life support systems in the mission. Instead, it will carry carry the data-gathering tools
needed to validate performance and compare predictive models with
actual flight data. Over the course of the four-to-six-week mission,
Orion will travel more than 1.4 million miles prior to returning
to Earth. It will surpass Apollo 13’s record for distance travelled from
Earth in a spacecraft designed for humans.
In the meantime NASA and it’s Human Landing System (HLS) partners will test and ready the lander. The commercially developed lander that will take the crew to the lunar surface will be capable of docking directly to Orion for crew transfer for early Artemis missions, but NASA is maintaining flexibility for optional docking to the Gateway.
And finally, in the third and the final stage, will see the actual crewed spaceflight to the Moon’s South Pole. On the surface, the crew will wear the new exploration extravehicular mobility unit or xEMU spacesuit as they explore the surface for about a week before returning to Orion for the trip home to Earth.
Upon landing, the 11 parachutes of Orion spacecraft will be deployed at almost five miles in altitude for the safe landing.