Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Now, NASA's Artemis spacecraft has begun its first orbit of the moon flying around 130 km above the Lunar Surface. Scientists face a nervous wait as the Orian capsule then attempts to enter a larger orbit. The vehicle will be out of contact during the maneuver on the far side of the moon. Will tell us to tell us more. Let's speak to dr jennifer Millard, astronomer, astronomer and presenter of the awesome astronomy podcast. Thank you so much. Doctor Miller for joining us here on the program. This is so exciting. Is, yeah. Is our return to the moon with people. That's something we haven't done for 50 years, incredibly not since the days of Apollo. And yes, so far the mission is going absolutely swimmingly. So yeah, we're very pleased how it's progressing and of course it's it's unmanned at the moment, isn't it? It is. Yeah, there are no people on board. It is unproved and that's because Artemis one which is this mission is a test run. So it's a dry run. We needed to fly the rocket to see if it would actually work. And of course it did beautifully. And now we're testing the capsule to make sure that the conditions on board are going to be suitable for people. So is the temperature okay. The radiation level is going to be acceptable. We're also testing all of the maneuverability, testing the solar panels and then crucially when this capsule returns to Earth. We're testing that heat shield because coming in from the moon compared to the international space station. For example, you come in at much greater velocities and that means you're coming in, you're going to be heating up too much greater temperatures. So that heat shield really needs to be tested. But if this all works, then we're on for Artemus to with people and then Artemus three is finally new boot prints on the surface of the moon. And what is the timeline for all of this? Because as you say, this is so far so good. Yeah, great question. So hopefully if everything goes to plan with one, we're looking at 2020 for for Artemis two. So it'll be a very similar mission to Artemis one but with people on board the capsule and then Artemus three, as long as our two goes well will be 2025. That's the current plan. And I mean so far huge investment with this in this particular spacecraft is the biggest that Nasa has ever built. Is that correct? It's yeah, it's an astonishing one for for human capabilities. We're gonna have four crew on board which is more than Apollo. It was three crew on board there and it's only gonna get bigger and better from there because we're gonna be having the lunar gateway which will be a small space station in orbit around the moon to support lunar surface activities. And we really are progressing and doing not just long distance based exploration by going to the moon but combining it with long duration exploration, we're going to be at the moon for weeks and even months and all of this is so that we can develop the skills and also the technology that we need to put people on the surface of mars really, that's the ultimate goal of artemis and well, it all looks like it's going smoothly. I mean, this is frankly a very difficult mission. It is yeah, going to the moon is another level of complexity because, you know, with the international space station where still cocooned within Earth's protective magnetic field. Whereas when we're going out to the moon and even beyond, because the Orion capsule is going to be soaring 40,000 miles beyond the moon, it's going to be the most distant human rate is capsule it's ever been and were exposed to the radiation of deep space out there and you know, we can't go and rescue the capsule if something goes wrong. So it is another level of complexity, another level of danger. But to me it makes it quite exciting. Yeah, I mean, absolutely. And if you can just briefly help our audience really understand the significance of this moment. It is, it's the first time in 50 years that we've had a human rated capsule actually lose sight of Earth because capsule briefly went behind the moon and that's all I could see and we're now getting images that unfortunately just come to the end of the program.