Why will NASA's Artemis 2 only fly around the moon, not orbit or land ?

Artemis 2 will be the first time NASA has sent humans to the moon in over 50 years, and a lot has changed since then.

Artemis 2, which NASA aims to launch in November 2024, will send a crew of four on a test flight that will take them once around the moon and back. But the agency has already placed numerous astronauts on the moon during the Apollo program, so why won't Artemis 2 orbit the moon or land on the lunar surface?

The answer is that NASA is testing a wide range of new technologies, systems and procedures during Artemis 2, just as it did with Artemis 1, an uncrewed flight to lunar orbit that launched last November. Many of these have never been tested in an actual spaceflight environment, and the agency will need to collect data to inform its future moon to Mars plans envisioned under the Artemis program. So the agency deemed a lunar fly-around the best and safest option for the first Artemis crewed flight.

Broadly, Artemis 2 will be similar to Artemis 1 in that it will be another shakedown cruise for the Space Launch System rocket (SLS) and Orion spacecraft. This time around, however, with a crew onboard, the Artemis 2 flight will help test Orion's human-centric systems such as life support, communications and flight controls. 

Source: www.space.com


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