NASA unveiled the calendar on Thursday for the program "Artemis", with which astronauts return to the moon for the first time in half a century. By 2024, eight launches and a mini-station in lunar orbit will take place.
The original moon missions were named after Apollo – Artemis was his twin sister in Greek mythology and the goddess of hunting, wildlife and the moon.
Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed that Artemis 1 will be an unmanned mission around the moon scheduled for 2020.
Next comes Artemis 2, which circled around 2022 with a crew the Earth satellite; This is followed by Artemis 3, which will bring 2024 astronauts to lunar soil, including the first female.
Launched by the largest rocket of all time, the Boeing-led Space Launch System (SLS), the three are currently under development, but have experienced many delays and have been criticized in part as bloated employment programs.
NASA plans to bring humans back to the Moon for the first time since the end of the Apollo program in 1972. / VCG Photo
At its summit, the Orion capsule is fastened, for which Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor is.
In addition to these missions, which include all of NASA's efforts, five launches will begin with the building block of the Moon Ministation Gateway, which will serve as a stopover for the moon landing.
These will be carried out between 2022 and 2024 by private space companies NASA will pay for their services.  The orbital station initially consists of a simple power and drive element and a small habitat module. In 2024, the astronauts stop there on their way to the moon.
Then they rise to the surface on a lander.
One part of the lander remains on the moon while the other part takes off and releases the moon. Astronauts are to return to their station, where they board the Orion capsule and return to Earth.
Bridenstine announced on Thursday that NASA had selected the private company Maxar to build the station's first module, the Power and Drive element, which would rely on giant amounts of solar panels.
In the coming months, NASA will have to decide who will build the lander. Aerospace giants like Boeing and Lockheed Martin are fighting for the contract, as are new players like Jeff Bezos & # 39; Blue Origin.
"We do not own the hardware, we buy the service," said Bridenstine from Lander. "The goal here is speed. 2024 is just around the corner."
He added, "Our goal is to eventually get to Mars and not get stuck on the surface of the moon."
(Cover via AFP)