It has been more than fifty years since the historic day of July 20, 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon.
Now NASA is preparing another mission, but in the spirit of the new era of space travel, where the sole criteria for selecting the crew have to do with its true value and not things such as race or gender.
It is called “Mission Artemis” and its destination is once again the Moon.
It’s not forgotten that Artemis (Ἄρτεμις) is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity.
READ MORE: Temple of Artemis, Brauron, Attica, Greece.
If completed successfully, it will mark two firsts: the first female astronaut and the first non-European descended person to conquer Earth’s satellite.
The crew will consist of ten astronauts, selected from over 12,000 candidates from Alaska to Puerto Rico – six men and four women, each of whom will contribute in a different way to this demanding and exciting journey.
Next destination, Mars
Basic requirements for joining the mission crew were to have US citizenship, a postgraduate degree in STEM science or any other equivalent degree, and at least three years or 1,000 hours of pilot experience.
The training starts in January 2022 and includes space walks, handling of robotic equipment, but also learning the Russian language so that they can communicate effectively with Russian astronauts.
The first launch is scheduled for the same year, to be followed by a second in 2024.
READ MORE: Athens from the International Space Station.
The Artemis Mission will be the springboard for NASA’s next big goal: the first manned spacecraft to Mars.
Asked why man is returning to the Moon, the US space agency said: “We’re going back to the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and inspiration for a new generation of explorers: the Artemis Generation.”
“While maintaining American leadership in exploration, we will build a global alliance and explore deep space for the benefit of all.”
Watch a NASA video for the Artemis Mission:
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo.
She was the patron and protector of young children and women, and was believed to both bring disease upon women and children and relieve them of it.
Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia.
Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis preferred to remain a maiden and was sworn never to marry.
She was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities, and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Her symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver, and hunting knives, and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her.
Diana, her Roman equivalent, was especially worshipped on the Aventine Hill in Rome, near Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills, and in Campania.