Moon mission a new era for space travel

To boldly go : Artemis astronauts will land on the Moon’s South Pole, where no human has been before. © NASA

Does space travel bring us hope? Experts working on an historical lunar mission say it helps us stay optimistic during hard times – but some people think we should stick to earthly problems.

What’s happening

The year is 2024. Two astronauts open the airlock and step out of the spacecraft.

Back on Earth, people are thrilled. It is the first time in history that a woman has been to the Moon. No human has set foot on its surface for 52 years. This is the start of a new era in space travel.

Find out more

In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the Moon. Now, NASA is planning another trip. This time, it will send a woman for the first time.

The Artemis mission is part of a plan to send people to Mars. In the future, the Moon may be used as a stop for rockets heading for the red planet.

Artemis astronauts will use their time on the Moon for experiments about life in space. They hope to find water that could be used as rocket fuel.

The European Space Agency is working with NASA on the project. The director, David Parker, says we need space travel to stay positive:

“It is really important for all of humanity, especially at the moment, to have an optimistic future in mind.”

Does space travel give us hope in difficult times?

Some say…

Of course, it does! The excitement of space travel is exactly what we need at the moment. It is full of amazing new possible experiences. Space travel is also important because it inspires us to explore science and challenge ourselves. It is not just about flying into space and leaving our troubles behind.

Others think…

It shouldn't. Focusing on space travel is just a way to escape from the problems on Earth. It will not make global warming or world hunger go away. For real hope, we should work together to solve our own problems. Only then should we think about going to the Moon and exploring further in space.

You Decide

  1. Would you rather visit a different planet or show an alien around Earth for a week?

Activities

  1. Design a spacesuit that you could wear on the Moon. Think about what colour it would be and how it would look. You should also make sure it would be easy to move around in.

Some People Say...

“The exploration of space…is one of the great adventures of all time.”

President John F Kennedy, during a speech in 1962

What do you think?

Word Watch

Airlock
An airtight compartment where air pressure can be regulated. They are used in submarines as well as in space, where air pressure inside and outside is not the same.
Era
A period of time in history. An era often begins with an important event – such as the first human being on the Moon.
Artemis
The mission is named after the Greek goddess of the Moon. Artemis was also the twin sister of Apollo – the name of the first Moon missions in the 1960s.
Red planet
Another name for Mars. It is known as “red” because of its unusual colour. The name Mars comes from Roman mythology: Mars was the god of war.
European Space Agency
The organisation that is in charge of space exploration for 22 European countries.
Optimistic
To be optimistic is to be hopeful that things will work out well in the end. A pessimistic person is the opposite – someone who always thinks the worst will happen.

Subjects

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