NASA Prepares for Moon Colonization in 2026 for Artemis III Mission

NASA announced the transfer of the mission of Artemis III, which was supposed to send astronauts to the moon. The main reason for the delay was difficulties in developing the SpaceX Starship missile. This modified version of the most powerful rocket in the world should deliver the first astronauts to the moon since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

The last test flight Starship, IFT-3, became an encouraging step forward. The rocket reached orbital speed, which allowed her to fly around the earth. During this flight, SpaceX also successfully demonstrated fuel transfer in space, which is a key moment for the implementation of the Artemis III mission.

A detailed description of the mission of Artemis III:

  1. Start on the SLS NASA missile. The crew of the Artemis III mission, including the first woman and the first astronaut of non-European origin, will go to the moon not on the Starship missile. Instead, their orbit will be laid on Orion capsule, which will be launched using a powerful NASA-Space Launch System (SLS).
  2. A giant lunar missile that made the successful Mission Artemis I in 2022 will deliver the Orbit’s spacecraft. The start will be made from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  3. Orion will deliver the crew of Artemis III to the Moon. The crew “Artemis III” will go on a four-day trip on the Orion capsule before reaching the moon. If the mission is successful, the participants will be the first people who stepped on the lunar South Pole and will go down in history.
  4. NASA and other leading space powers plan to establish permanent bases on the moon, based on the assumption that the lunar southern pole has significant reserves of water ice in shadow craters, which makes it a valuable resource for future missions.

  5. Unmanned Starship HLS will start on the moon. In 2021, NASA allocated a SpaceX contract for $2.9 billion for the development of a modified version of Starship as a landing module for the moon. The modified Starship is called Starship Human Landing System (HLS).
  6. Starship HLS will never return to the Earth’s atmosphere, allowing SpaceX engineers to make adjustments to their standard

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.