KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – While the Artemis program mission to land on the moon will come at least three years after the first launch of the Space Launch System, NASA hosted a teleconference Friday to pinpoint where on the lunar surface astronauts could be landing for the first time in more than 50 years.
Apollo missions landed near the moon’s equator.
Now, NASA said Artemis III astronauts will target one of 13 possible landing sites near the moon’s south pole.
“Marking the first time a woman will walk on the moon. And also, we’re using this experience to prepare for a trip to Mars,” Mark Kirasich of the Artemis Campaign Development Division said.
[TRENDING: Missing child found in Florida teacher’s home | ‘Just chilling:’ Alligator takes swim in Orange County family’s pool | Win tickets to watch Artemis 1 rocket launch | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]
To land at the sites being considered, NASA said astronauts riding the Orion capsule will dock to the SpaceX Starship, with two of the astronauts going down in Starship to the lunar surface, followed by astronauts exploring and working on the landing site for six days.
Artemis lunar science lead Sarah Noble compared the distance between the potential landing sites to the Apollo landings.
‘’This is a new part of the moon,” Noble said. “It’s a place that we’ve never explored, so we are very excited not only as a resource but also from a science perspective.’’
Chief exploration scientist Jacob Bleacher described the preparations as being on a rollercoaster about to pass the top of the largest hill.
“Buckle up everyone, we’re going for a ride to the moon here,” Bleacher said.
NASA will discuss the Artemis program again on Monday.
This time, with a teleconference discussing the first launch which is still currently scheduled for Monday morning, Aug. 29.
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: