AskNASA┃ What is Artemis

Hi, I'm Serena Aunon-Chancellor. I'm a NASA astronaut and this is #AskNASA. And I'm ready for your questions. All right, so first question:. What is Artemis or What is the Artemis program? so the Artemis program is our lunar exploration program. We will get to the South Pole of the Moon by 2024, landing the first American woman and the next man. Why are we doing this? Well, in order for us to head towards Mars we need a special place where we can practice, essentially develop robust engineering technologies, figure out how well the human does with long-duration spaceflight, learn how to build habitats. And we do all of this on the Moon. Essentially we practice we have, it's an engineering battleground so we can go to Mars. What do you think it'll be like to go on an Artemis flight? Well, let me tell you this would actually be really cool to go on an Artemis fight, because we'd be heading to the Moon. Now, what vehicle will we be traveling in? Well, it's actually the Orion vehicle right here and some of you may recognize this. This is similar to the old Apollo capsules but it is bigger it is better. I've actually climbed inside the mock-ups, seen the systems, very modern systems. This is what will be taking us back to the moon -- the first American woman on the moon. Serena, did you always want to be an astronaut? I did, probably since I was eight years old. My Dad finally asked me one day, "do you want to be an astronaut?" and I said, "yes." What one personal item did you take to space? Oh, I took multiple personal items it wasn't just one. Funny enough , I took a back scratcher because you need a back scratcher wherever you go What food would you take to the Moon? Oh easy, cheeseburger french fries every time YUM If you were in a dance-off with an alien what song would you pick? That's easy, it'd be Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. We played this song on the launch pad. What do you miss the most about Earth when you're in space? I missed feeling the Earth, so I missed the wind. I missed the rain, I missed the smell of the Earth, the smell of the grass. These are the things you just can't imitate on station. Is it scary being in space? It's not scary being in space. I mean it's, it's your home and it's a size of a five bedroom house it's absolutely huge and your friends are up there with you so what's better than that. Do you know how cool you are, because we think you're amazing? You know, as my husband says, I still take out the trash like everyone else. So, you're a doctor, can you fix this man? Ah well, I'm an internist not a surgeon but I will try. Ooh, i've got to do this carefully, I don't want to set off ... Yes ... yes. Nope, I ... no, that's it Do you have a question for NASA? send your questions to our experts on Twitter using #AskNASA