In West Central Ohio, we are familiar with leaving our mark in history. With recently celebrating the 50th anniversary of Wapak native Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, the state of Ohio is playing a key role in another monumental leap for mankind.
NASA's newest moon mission is Artemis, named after the Greek Goddess of the Moon and Apollo's twin sister. The name is fitting because this mission will send the first woman and the next man to the moon. Artemis' goal is to open the world to new places for lifeforms to exist, including the Moon and even Mars. But through this mission, Colonel Doug Wheelock, a NASA astronaut, believes we can learn a lot about ourselves along the way.
"Everything that we are doing at NASA- everything that we are doing including exploring space, is to learn about how to take better care of ourselves, take better care of each other, and take better care of our planet. That's the end- that's the end game," Wheelock said.
Astronauts will be assisted by robot explorers in trying to discover water and other useful resources that would be needed for long term living. The astronauts sent will be exploring the surface of the moon for days at a time with hopes of trying to learn how to live there. Artemis is, in a sense, a test run in sending people to see what supplies astronauts may or may not need to live on the Moon and narrowing down what's necessary before sending people to Mars.
All of the testing and hardware being used for this mission has to pass through Ohio first. The Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and Plum Brook Station near Sandusky have played major roles in prepping for Artemis. Being the birthplace of Aviation and Neil Armstrong, Ohio has earned its place in the history books.
"Innovation in flight, here in the state of Ohio, has been- has revolutionized what we- how we look at not only flight of aircraft, but flight of spacecraft as well," says Colonel Wheelock.
Artemis is expected to send the first woman and next man to the moon by 20-24 and produce sustainable missions by 2028.