The Artemis Lunar Program Overview
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Here we are, having just marked the 50th Anniversary of our first lunar landing, finally endeavoring to establish a human space program to go back to the Moon. Even Gene Cernan, making his final remarks from the lunar surface in 1972, did not think it would take this long for us to return. How much longer is anybody’s guess. NASA now says we will go back in 2024, but that is questionable. We are at the dawn of the new decade, and the latest concept for returning humans to the Moon is still being debated. As the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s went by, a number of Presidents made token challenges for the country involving other human space programs such as the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). In the meantime the science community sent robots to objects right across the Solar System, and discovered wonderful things that still amaze us. Now the ISS is two decades old and may be sold off, given away, or possibly even dropped back into the atmosphere; but hopefully its life will be extended because it still has a lot to offer. How did we get to this state of affairs?