QUO Fast Radio Bursts

Future Missions E2: To The Moon, Artemis

April 20, 2021 Queen's Observatory Season 2 Episode 8
QUO Fast Radio Bursts
Future Missions E2: To The Moon, Artemis
Show Notes


  • Artemis is the twin sister of Apollo in Greek Mythology
  • Includes “Lunar Gateway” space station that will orbit the moon instead of Earth.
  • Canadarm 3 will help construct the Lunar Gateway
  • Landers will shuttle between the Lunar Gateway and the moon surface. Likely Shackleton Crater in the South Pole
  • New space suits are being designed for landing on the moon, which will provide more mobility while on the surface.
  • SLS (space launch system), will take astronauts to the moon.
    • At 98 meters tall it’s taller than the statue of liberty
    • Weighs about 9 million lbs (4 million kg)
    • Able to carry 27 tons to the moon for first iteration (block 1) eventually will carry 46 tons (note Saturn V was ~49 tons)
    • Main stage runs on liquid hydrogen and oxygen, the combustion product is water
    • Will be tested this year
  • Beginning next year, equipment will be sent to the Lunar Gateway so it is ready when humans arrive
  • Likely 2023, will send missions to the moon and back without extended operations. These will test all systems
  • 2024 land first person on the moon since Apollo missions

Why are we doing this:

  • Why go to the moon:
    • Demonstrate new technologies, capabilities, and business approaches needed for future exploration including Mars
    • Inspire a new generation and encourage careers in STEM
  • What to do on the moon:
    • Find and use water and other critical resources needed for long-term exploration
    • Learn how to live and operate on the surface of another celestial body where astronauts are just three days from home
    • Prove the technologies we need before sending astronauts on missions to Mars, which can take up to three years round trip. 
    • Lots of oxygen on the moon, but it is stuck in oxides like rust, silicon oxide (quartz), and titanium oxide. So separating the oxygen also gives Iron, win-win!
    • The moon has Helium-3, a promising fuel for nuclear fusion. Although collecting the helium-3 will be challenging as it is very diffusely spread out on the surface.
  • Artemis Accords: 
    • Build on “outer space treaty” which states that all activities in space must be peaceful (no weapons) and that no one can claim sovereignty over objects in space. 
    • Accords allow for mining and use of space resources, but only for facilitating activities in space.
    • Accords affirm peaceful space exploration and transparency of operations
    • Refrain from harmful interference
    • Russia has not signed it
    • Canada has signed it (Lisa Campbell, president of Canadian Space Agency)

Links to Science Outreach Material:

Special thanks to Colin Vendromin for the music also thanks to Zac Kenny for the logo!