NASA will use the mission to test the technology it has developed so far. While the mission will be uncrewed, it is critically important and it is the baptism by fire of the SLS heavy rocket and the Orion spacecraft. Missions that will follow will carry astronauts. The SpaceX Starship will eventually rendezvous with the Orion capsule and land astronauts on the Moon.
Related: This Is What A SpaceX Starship Launch Will Look Like
To keep exploring space in the name of humanity a NASA website will sign up anyone who wants to fly their name around the Moon. The signup process is very simple and is done in three easy steps. Once a person signs up, they get a “historical boarding pass”. There could be more coming from this project. NASA reminds those who sign up to remember their pin as they may need it down the line. Artemis I will launch in 2022.
A Long-Standing NASA Tradition
This is not the first time NASA has run this type of program. In 2018, NASA took more than 2.4 million names to Mars. Those who signed up also got a “boarding pass” to remember the occasion. Names traveled on two tiny 8 mm-square silicon wafer microchips. The microchips were attached to the Insight Lander, the first mission to uncover the secrets beneath the Red Planet’s surface by listening to its inner layers, core, and marsquakes.
But the NASA tradition is even older than the Mars missions. In 1972 and 1973 NASA placed small metal plaques on spacecraft Pioneers 10 and 11. The plaques were an idea by Carl Sagan who wanted any alien civilization who might find the craft to know who made it. The plaques give out an exact location of Earth in the Galaxy and show a man and a woman in relation to the craft. In 1977 NASA took the idea even further. It installed the Golden Record on Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.
Both Voyagers are still flying in deep space and are now interstellar. This means they have gone further than any human-made object has ever gone, traveling beyond our solar system. The Golden Record has greetings recorded in 55 different languages spoken on Earth. It also has world music, images, and sounds of our planet. Today this symbolic NASA tradition is kept alive again with the Artemis mission, and the return to the Moon. Once again, humanity is on board a rocket, and the countdown is about to begin.